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One change for South Africa ahead of Rugby World Cup final with England

Kolbe replaces Nkosi in the number 14 jersey.

South Africa’s Cheslin Kolbe will return for the final (David Davies/PA)
South Africa’s Cheslin Kolbe will return for the final (David Davies/PA)

By Duncan Bech, PA England Rugby Correspondent, Tokyo

South Africa’s star wing Cheslin Kolbe returns for Saturday’s World Cup final against England in the only change made by coach Rassie Erasmus.

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Kolbe replaces Sbu Nkosi in the number 14 jersey after recovering from the ankle injury that forced him to miss the 19-16 last four victory over Wales.

The Springboks have remained true to form by naming a six-two split between forwards and backs on the bench, signalling their intent to target England up-front.

Siya Kolisi will captain South Africa for the 20th time as he becomes the eighth player in the 23 to have won 50 caps.

It is a familiar line-up, 22 of which will be appearing together for the fourth time in the tournament.

“Chessie is fully fit and ready to go. It’s tough on Sbu to drop out of the 23 altogether but he has made vital contributions to our campaign,” Erasmus said.

“But we have been developing some momentum through the tournament, which has come from consistency and although we know there are things we can do better this is a fit, well-practiced set of combinations.

We may not be favourites but these players will leave nothing in the tank

“Getting to this stage is not enough for this team. We now have what may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to become world champions – something that would mean so much to our country and our people.

“We know the excitement that there is back home and that the country may well be coming to a standstill on Saturday lunchtime in South Africa. There’s a huge weight of expectation.

“We may not be favourites but these players will leave nothing in the tank. We know how the wins in 1995 and 2007 lifted the country – even if it was momentarily. We want to give South Africa that experience once again.”

PA

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