Springboks name team for Ireland clash with HUGE tactical call


Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber made 13 personnel changes and a positional switch, as well as naming a seven-one split in favour of the forwards on the replacements’ bench, for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup pool encounter against Ireland.

Nine players who sat out Sunday’s 76-0 win over Romania return to the starting line-up while four others move from the bench to the starting XV for another pivotal encounter in the Pool B ‘Group of Death’.

The two players to retain their places in the run-on team are Bongi Mbonambi (hooker) and Damian Willemse (utility back) – who moves from flyhalf to fullback – while Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe (props), Jasper Wiese (No 8) and Jesse Kriel (centre) move from the replacements’ bench.

Overall, the team reunites the starting combination that defeated Scotland 18-3 in the opening pool match except for hooker, where Mbonambi starts in place of the injured Malcolm Marx.

In the pack, it means the restoration of the locking combination of Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert, and the loose trio of captain Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit (both flankers) and Wiese.

Outside them, scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and flyhalf Manie Libbok unite at halfback, while Kurt-Lee Arendse and Cheslin Kolbe will patrol the wings outside of the centre pairing of Damian de Allende and Kriel.

Nienaber’s seven-one bench will see Deon Fourie continue as hooker, while Ox Nche and Trevor Nyakane will provide prop reinforcements with the Munster lock duo of Jean Kleyn – who played five Tests for Ireland which included wearing the light green jumper in the 2019 Rugby World Cup – and RG Snyman are paired on the bench with loose forwards Marco van Staden and the versatile Kwagga Smith, who can cover wing as well thanks to his Springboks Sevens’ experience.

Springbok team to face Ireland in Paris:

15 – Damian Willemse
14 – Kurt-Lee Arendse
13 – Jesse Kriel
12 – Damian de Allende
11 – Cheslin Kolbe
10 – Manie Libbok
9 – Faf de Klerk

8 – Jasper Wiese
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit
6 – Siya Kolisi (c)
5 – Franco Mostert
4 – Eben Etzebeth
3 – Frans Malherbe
2 – Bongi Mbonambi
1 – Steven Kitshoff

16 – Deon Fourie
17 – Ox Nche
18 – Trevor Nyakane
19 – Jean Kleyn
20 – RG Snyman
21 – Marco van Staden
22 – Kwagga Smith
23 – Cobus Reinach

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