We’re looking forward to seeing the Springboks take on Wales in their Rugby World Cup semi-final match on Sunday .
The two teams have played 35 Test matches against each other since 1906, of which 21 were played in Wales, 10 were played in South Africa and four on neutral ground. Of the 35 Tests the Springboks have won 28, lost 6 with one drawn test match. Two of those test matches were played at Rugby World Cups: in 2011 South Africa won the Pool match 17-16. At the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Wales and South Africa met in the quarter-finals match which the Springboks won 23-19.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has made one change to the Springbok squad that beat Japan last week. Exciting young wing Sbu Nkosi has been drafted into the Springbok starting line-up for Sunday’s gripping Rugby World Cup semi-final against Wales replacing the hot-stepping Cheslin Kolbe who has not recovered sufficiently from the ankle injury he suffered against Canada, and aggravated in the quarter-final against Japan.
The 23-year-old Nkosi – who has scored eight tries in his 10 Test appearances – slots into the right wing position as a direct replacement for Kolbe. “It’s disappointing not to have Cheslin available as he has been brilliant for us since we first called him up last year,” said Rassie Erasmus. “But we really rate Sbu and he will slot straight in. I am as excited to see what he can do as I would be if ‘Chessie’ were playing. Sbu has been very close to selection as it is.”
Nkosi has made two appearances in the tournament, against Namibia and a try-scoring show against Canada. He scored two tries against Australia and Argentina in the two South African home Tests in 2019 Rugby Championship. The Springboks went on to win the title.
“We’ve been fortunate to have been able to be pretty consistent in selection and we’ve built some nice momentum,” said Erasmus. “But the challenge just got a lot tougher on Sunday. Wales are the reigning Six Nations champions – as well as Grand Slam winners – and apart from three defeats in their Rugby World Cup warm-ups have put together a really good sequence of results. But we’ve also found some rhythm and we’ll be ready for the challenge.”
The Springbok 23 includes 10 players who appeared in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final victory over Wales four years ago in England (23-19), and nine who are making a second semi-final appearance after losing to eventual champions, New Zealand, four years ago. The nine are Tendai Mtawarira, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Francois Louw, Duane Vermeulen, Handré Pollard, Damian de Allende and Willie le Roux. Pieter-Steph du Toit was on the bench in the quarter-final at Twickenham in 2015.
“We have been working hard for 18 months to put ourselves in a position to win the Rugby World Cup and that opportunity is now just 80 minutes away,” said Erasmus. “These players have worked with unbelievable energy to get Springbok rugby back into this position and I know they will leave nothing out on the field on Sunday. We can feel the excitement coming from back home in South Africa and how much success will mean to our country. We know we’re playing for South Africa; that this is bigger than an 80-minute game of rugby.”
South Africa’s semi-final against Wales kicks off at 11h00 (SA time). Support our men in green and gold as they fight to make South Africa proud and make the Rugby World Cup final.
The Springbok team to play Wales in Yokohama on Sunday is:
Willie le Roux, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handré Pollard, Faf de Klerk, Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira
Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Francois Louw, Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn