South Africa name unchanged squad for World Cup semi-final showdown with England

Siya Kolisi after South Africa beat France in 2023 Rugby World Cup quarter final Siya Kolisi will lead South Africa in another World Cup semi-final (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Reigning champions South Africa have named an unchanged matchday squad for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup semi-final against England in Paris.

The Springboks progressed to a showdown with Steve Borthwick’s side by defeating hosts France 29-28 in a thrilling quarter-final clash.

Fly-half Handre Pollard, who kicked 22 points in his side’s 32-12 defeat of England in the 2019 final, remains among the replacements, with Manie Libbok continuing in the number 10 role.

Fifteen of the 23 played in that match in Yokohama when the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for the third time.

Head coach Jacques Nienaber’s decision to go with continuity means there is once again a five-three split of forwards and backs on his bench.

South Africa, who climbed to the top of the world rankings following victory over France, are strong favourites to reach the final, where they would face either New Zealand or Argentina.

“We are playing for our friends, family and the 60 million people at home who have been supporting us through thick and thin and we are determined to continue giving them hope and something to smile about,” Nienaber said.

“They (England) come off five victories in a row and they are high on confidence.

“They have a quality pack and world-class backs who can create magic on the field and those who are writing them off are making a major mistake.

“Like us, they are one game away from a World Cup final and we’ve seen through the history of the tournament that England raise their game for these matches. If we lose, we have to play the third-place playoff – which no team wants to do.”

South Africa team to face England in Rugby World Cup Semi-Final

Forwards: 1 Steven Kitshoff (Ulster), 2 Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), 3 Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Hollywoodbets Sharks), 5 Franco Mostert (Honda Heat), 6 Siya Kolisi (CAPTAIN, Racing 92), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), 8 Duane Vermeulen (SA Rugby)

Backs: 9 Cobus Reinach (Montpellier), 10 Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers), 11 Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath), 12 Damian de Allende (Wild Knights), 13 Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles), 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), 15 Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers)

Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers), 17 Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks), 18 Vincent Koch (Hollywoodbets Sharks), 19 RG Snyman (Munster), 20 Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs), 21 Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles), 22 Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers), 23 Willie le Roux (Vodacom Bulls)

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