South Africa ring changes for Canada match at Rugby World Cup

Damian Willemse.will play against Canada
Damian Willemse.will play against Canada
Image: Springboks/Twitter

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus has made 13 changes for his side's final Rugby World Cup Pool B fixture against Canada Tuesday, with just a four-day turnaround from their previous match.

A bonus-point victory over the rank outsiders will virtually guarantee the two-time world champion Springboks a quarter-final place after they lost their opening match of the tournament to reigning title-holders and arch-rivals New Zealand.

But just four days after their 49-3 win over Italy, Erasmus has freshened up his starting side, with just captain and flanker Siya Kolisi and centre Damian de Allende retaining their places.

Meanwhile Damian Willemse, who only arrived on Thursday as an injury replacement following a brief stint with English champions Saracens, went straight into the starting XV at fullback.

Elsewhere, five of the replacements from the Italy win are promoted to the starting line-up - centre Frans Steyn, back-row Francois Louw, locks Franco Mostert and RG Snyman, and prop Vincent Koch.

There were also first starts at the World Cup for scrumhalf Cobus Reinach and prop Thomas du Toit.

The quick turnaround is a challenge, admitted Erasmus, although he said they had planned for it and were well-prepared.

"This match is just as important as the three that we have already played - it has the same number of log points available and the same impact on our chances of qualifying and we have to now complete the job."

He added: "There are a number of new combinations in our team, but we have been together for several weeks now and everyone understands our game plan and strategies.

"The nice thing is that at the end of the match every member of the squad will have started a Rugby World Cup match."

South Africa (15-1): Damian Willemse; Warrick Gelant, Damian de Allende, Francois Steyn, S'Busiso Nkosi; Elton Jantjies, Cobus Reinach; Francois Louw, Kwagga Smith, Siya Kolisi (capt); 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

- AFP

 

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