South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber retained faith in the starting XI of Rugby World Cup and bench that beat France at the same stadium last Sunday. Kobus Reinach and Duane Vermeulen retain their places at scrum-half and eighth respectively.

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Meanwhile, Siya Kolisi will captain the team for the 11th time in a Rugby World Cup match, equaling John Smith’s record. For England, Joe Marler and George Martin will come on as a substitute and in the second row respectively, replacing Ellis Genge and Ollie Chessum, who drop to the bench. Freddie Steward is recalled to fullback in place of Marcus Smith.

A total of 26 of the 43 players from the 2019 Rugby World Cup final will travel to Saint Denis again in 2023 – with Elliot Daly, Manu Tuilagi, Johnny May, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes, Maro Itoje, Jamie George and captain. Owen Farrell played for England then and now; and Mbongeni Mbonambi, France Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Vermeulen, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe and Kolisi do the same for the Springboks.


The first game between England and South Africa took place in December 1906 at Crystal Palace. It all ended with the score 3-3. Since then, the semi-finalists have played each other 44 times. The Springboks won 27 times, including four of their five Rugby World Cup matches, two of which were finals. England won 16 times. However, their only Rugby World Cup victory came in the group phase of the 2003 tournament.

Memorable match of Rugby World Cup Final in 2019

England started as favorites against South Africa in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. But it was Siya Kolisi who lifted the Webb Ellis Cup after a clinical and controlled Springbok performance built on the strength of the forward and the boot of Handre Pollard, capped off with magic from forwards Makazol Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe.

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RWC Tickets | Rugby World Cup Tickets

Key talking point

Kicking tactics in South Africa at the moment. Money Lubbock and the Springboks have had notable success with their high bombs this tournament – especially against France last Sunday. England are clearly expecting more – which is partly why Freddie Steward was recalled to the England squad for this match: to counter the expected threat of the high ball and the return kick.


Since then, Maro Itoje vs Eben Etzebeth. Itoge has missed just 10 minutes of game time in his entire career against the Springboks for England and the British and Irish Lions combined. But, here he tests himself again against arguably the best second-row player in the world at the moment, a player who is in impressive form.

Amazing Stats

South Africa scored three goals in the first half of last Sunday’s quarter-final against France despite spending just 99 seconds of the first 40 minutes with the ball in Les Bleu’s half.

Etzebeth scored the crucial fourth try in the second half. But it was his third touchdown in eight matches, a record that was something of a treat for a second-row player who had scored just three goals in his first 110 Tests.

Ben O’Keefe (New Zealand). Having taken charge of South Africa’s quarter-final victory over France last weekend, O’Keeffe returns for his first ever Rugby World Cup semi final and his fifth match in the tournament. He also refereed the Springboks’ 42–39 win over England in June 2018.


ENGLAND Freddie Steward; Jonny May, Joe Marchant, Manu Tuilagi, Elliot Daly; Owen Farrell (captain), Alex Mitchell; Joe Marler, Jamie George, Dan Cole; Maro Itoje, George Martin; Courtney Laws, Tom Curry, Ben Earl

Replacements: Theo Deng, Ellis Genge, Kyle Sinclair, Ollie Chessam, Billy Vunipola, Danny Care, George Ford, Ollie Lawrence.

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RWC Tickets | Rugby World Cup Tickets

SOUTH AFRICA Damian Willemse; Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe; Manie Libbok, Cobus Reinach; Steven Kitshoff, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe; Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert; Siya Kolisi (captain), Pieter-Steph Du Toit, Duane Vermeulen

Replacements: Deon Fourie, Ox Nche, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk, Handré Pollard, Willie le Roux

Freddie Steward replaces Marcus Smith in one of three England changes for semi-final

Steward returns to the England squad at fullback for the Rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa on Saturday (kick-off 8pm UK time); Joe Marler and George Martin are part of the pack; But, the match in Paris is a repeat of the 2019 final, which the Springboks won.

Freddie Steward returns to the England squad at fullback in place of Marcus Smith in one of three changes to the starting XV for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa. Head coach Steve Borthwick also made two changes to the squad, with Joe Marler replacing Ellis Genge in the free position and George Martin replacing Ollie Chessum in the second row.

Steward was left out of round 23 for the 30-24 quarter-final win over Fiji, with Harlequins’ Smith in at number 15. Smith was sent off with a head injury, which he suffered, but Steward is now back as England face a rematch with the team that beat them in the World Cup final four years ago.

With Smith not even included in the substitute line-up, Danny Care, George Ford and Ollie Lawrence will cover the backs from the bench. On the team side, England captain Owen Farrell, whose name was booed when it was read out at the PA before the quarter-final win over Fiji, maintained his position in the first half.

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RWC Tickets | Rugby World Cup Tickets

Farrell was named man of the match as England maintained their unbeaten World Cup record despite some nervous moments against the Fijians, who beat them in the pre-tournament warm-up match at Twickenham. Borthwick knows his side will have to dig deep again if they are to dethrone the world champions and set up a final meeting with either New Zealand or Argentina in Paris on Saturday, October 28.

England Rugby World Cup team

15 Freddie Steward, 14 Jonny May, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Owen Farrell (c); 9 Alex Mitchell, 1 Joe Marler, 2 Jamie George, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 George Martin, 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Tom Curry, 8 Ben Earl.

Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Ollie Chessum, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Danny Care, 22 George Ford, 23 Ollie Lawrence.

Borthwick: We have progressed through each week | ‘The players can’t wait’

England head coach Steve Borthwick. We are all looking forward to this. Our fans, our players. It’s great. There is a special atmosphere, a special feeling in Paris before the semi-final. Our fans gave us incredible support throughout the tournament. Rugby fans can book Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

We focus a lot on ourselves. How do we develop and progress as a team? This team has improved every week they’ve been at this tournament. However, we built and built, and no matter what situation the players found themselves in in the games, we found a way to win at the end of it.

We have a lot of players who care deeply about representing England. I want to make sure they put on a performance on Saturday night that we’re all proud of. There is always faith in this team, it is strong. I’ve felt this way ever since I got involved again.

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“There are players here who have performed at the highest level and they can’t wait. Players are enjoying the challenges ahead. We know the intensity of this Test match will be incredible.”

Nienaber: Neither side will give an inch

South Africa remained unchanged for only the second time in 64 Tests. But, head coach Jacques Nienaber and director of rugby Rassie Erasmus lead a team that retains faith in the team that defeated hosts France 29-28 in the quarter-finals.

Eight of South Africa’s team – Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen, Bongi Mbonambi, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Damian de Allende and Cheslin Kolbe – started the 32-12 win over England in the World Cup final.

Nienaber hopes the experience will come in handy in Paris, although he expects a stiff test from Steve Borthwick’s side, who will go into the match as the only unbeaten team remaining in the tournament.

However, they have won five in a row and are full of confidence, Nienaber said. They have a quality squad and world-class defenders who can create magic on the pitch and those who write them off are making a big mistake.

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RWC Tickets | Rugby World Cup Tickets

Like us, they are one game away from the Rugby World Cup final and throughout the history of the tournament we have seen England raise their game for these matches. But, if we lose, we’ll have to play in the third-place playoff, which no team wants to do.

“We are very close in terms of the average age of the players and the number of matches, both teams are used to playing on the biggest stage. inch.”

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