Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus reveals World Cup hand


Rassie Erasmus has revealed his World Cup hand by clarifying exactly what seems to be his first first-choice group to the Springboks’ final World Cup warm-up against Japan.
The team shows one change in the starting XV that brought in Wellington in July, an outcome that paved the way for South Africa Rugby Championship title in last couple of years.
Even the Springboks take on their older rivals in Yokohama in their tournament opener on September 21, along with the unwanted Erasmus named for Friday’s warm-up appears likely to be the one to take the field in just two weeks’ time since the Boks go in search of another World Cup title.
The solitary change to this Wellington team sees skipper Siya Kolisi favored to Kwagga Smith in openside flank. Kolisi was injured for South Africa’s Rugby Championship effort but left his return in their penultimate World Cup warm-up against Argentina in Pretoria.
Duane Vermeulen joins in the spine kolisi. Du Toit’s first launch in the Green and Gold came from Japan in the 2015 World Cup, when the Springboks suffered the biggest shock in the championship’s history in a 34-32 loss in Brighton.
While Erasmus may be committing his first-choice group a run-out till they take on the the All Blacks, Erasmus explained the negative also represents how dire the Boks would be to avoid another defeat.
“I hope this choice will deliver a strong message that we have the utmost respect for Japan,” said Erasmus.
“Perhaps we made the error of complacency against them in the past but we have been hammering the message all week that we should never do that again against Japan.
“They’re a smart group of great athletes, playing in the home, having won a title in the last month and desperate to demonstrate something. This Test is just as big a challenge as any we’ve had this season.
“They made a movie about the last time they played with us – it’s our job to be sure that there’s no sequel.”
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 1 Steven Kitshoff, two Malcolm Marx, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8 Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel.

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