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South Africa make one change for Rugby World Cup opener against New Zealand

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus made 1 change from the starting XV that drew with New Zealand in July when he named his team for Saturday’s crunch Rugby World Cup battle with the champions.
Siya Kolisi, who missed the 16-16 Wellington draw due to injury, will captain the side at openside flanker to make an imposing row that is rear with number eight Duane Vermeulen and blindside Pieter Steph du Toit.
Otherwise, Erasmus has stuck with the side that last played with the All Blacks to get a game that’s likely to decide who wins Pool B and loves the comparatively easier route through the final.
The matchday squad to the Yokohama battle was identical to the one Erasmus set out in Kumagaya that month which maintained the Springboks unbeaten this year for the victory over Japan.
“We have found some consequences and some momentum in a number of ways this year and one of these is in selection,” Erasmus said.
“We’ve 31 players from the squad, any of whom I’d be delighted to pick… but that really is a line-up that has worked well as a beginning combination and one with genuine momentum to emerge from the bench.
“We’re continuing to develop new players are always pushing a promise but we have prepared well and we are looking ahead to what will likely be yet another extremely close game.”
While Cheslin Kolbe held on his position on the right wing regardless of Sbu Nkosi’s form prop Trevor Nyakane retained his place on the bench despite question marks on his fitness.
There was no place for Smith or even Nkosi together with Francois Louw covering Jesse Kriel the back three along with the back row, about the bench.
The versatile 32-year-old Frans Steyn will cover the centers and act as together with Elton Jantjies.
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, 2 Malcom Marx, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), seven Pieter Steph du Toit, 8 Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw 22 Frans Steyn.

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