Rassie selects Springbok power for RWC clash against Japan

The Springboks have reverted to the starting XV and replacements that recorded a 49-3 victory over Italy a fortnight ago for the do-or-die Rugby World Cup.

 

We were satisfied with the performance against Italy and want to build on that,” said coach Rassie Erasmus. 

We have been improving and building momentum this season and we will be looking for further improvements this weekend.

Japan are a well-coached team and have deservedly climbed to seventh in the world rankings. It’ll be a good challenge but we’re definitely up for it.”

 

 

Front-rankers Tendai Mtawarira and Bongi Mbonambi, as well as Lood de Jager retain their places in the starting line-up, having been elevated to the XV from the one which lost against New Zealand in the opening match of the tournament.  

The starting XV boasts 665 caps – the most in a Springbok team since the 2015 Rugby World Cup – when the squad included three Test centurions in Jean de Villiers, Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana. 

 

When we set out on this campaign at the start of last season, one of the things we said we wanted to do was broaden and deepen the experience in the squad,” said Erasmus.

We’re now in a position where everyone in the starting XV has had a proper taste of top-level Test rugby and we’ve got a strong spine of Test experience for these high-pressure matches.

You need that experience when it comes to handling the pressure situations we will face on Sunday and I think we’ve achieved that now.” 

 

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