Boks ring changes for final pool clash with Canada

Boks ring changes for final pool clash with Canada

Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has rung the changes ahead of their final pool B game clash against Canada on Tuesday.

Damian Willemse
Steve Haag Sports via Hollywoodbets

Siya Kolisi retains his spot in the starting lineup and skippers the team from openside flank. The rest of the starting XV is largely changed from the team that beat Italy 49-3 on Friday night.

Upfront, Thomas du Toit gets a start at loosehead prop while Vincent Koch packs down at tighthead. Schalk Brits will wear the number 2 jumper this week, having played number 8 two weeks ago against Namibia.

RG Snyman and Franco Mostert are the two starting locks this week, while Kwagga Smith will operate at blindside flank and Francois Louw starts at number 8.

Cobus Reinach gets his first Rugby World Cup start at scrumhalf, partnering up with flyhalf Elton Jantjies. Frans Steyn starts at inside centre and Damian de Allende moves across to outside centre for this clash.

The back three is complete changed for South Africa. Sbu Nkosi starts on the left wing and Warrick Gelant will operate on the right wing. Damian Willemse, who joined the team from Saracens as cover for the injured Jesse Kriel, starts at fullback.

Willemse gets his shot while Mapimpi gets well-earned rest

Willemse joined the Springboks last Thursday, just a day before their clash against Italy.

He had been called up to the squad for Kriel, who was sent home to recover after a hamstring strain ended his Rugby World Cup campaign.

The utility back went across to Saracens in order to gain match fitness in the event that he was needed at the Rugby World Cup. That has now become a reality and less than a week since his arrival, Willemse will make his World Cup debut.

“Having Damian, who has played for us previously and would have made the World Cup squad if he wasn’t injured, match fit now having played two games for Saracens already. He’s much more comforatble at 15 and knows our systems and Warrick has played wing for us before as well,” Erasmus explained on Sunday.

ALSO: WATCH: Erasmus explains Springbok ‘bomb squad’ and Mapimpi situation

The Springbok director of rugby also hammered home the importance of resting Makazole Mapimpi this week. The left wing has been in exceptional form for the Springboks, scoring 11 tries in as many games.

“Mapimpi’s work load has been game in and game out 80 minutes and he’s been playing really well. He’s cemented his place in that team now and he’s a guy that has scored every game for us. It’s what we expect from our wingers.” 

The Springboks face Canada on Tuesday. Kickoff is at 12h15 South African time.

Springbok team (15-1): Damian Willemse, Warrick Gelant, Damian de Allende, Frans Steyn, Sbu Nkosi, Elton Jantjies, Francois Louw, Kwagga Smith, Siya Kolisi, Franco Mostert, RG Snyman, Vincent Koch, Schalk Brits, Thomas du Toit.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Herschel Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Willie le Roux.

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