The rest of the scoresheet is close to the team that beat England (16-15) in the semi-final, apart from the hinge formed by Handré Pollard at opener and Faf de Klerk at halfback. melee. The Pollard-de Klerk pair are associated for the twenty-fifth time, making them the most experienced hinge in the history of the rainbow selection.
In total, fourteen of the twenty-three players called for the 2023 World Cup final were already present during the 2019 final, won against England (32-12). On the bench, the Boks, defending champions, therefore decided to place seven forwards: the first lines Deon Fournie, Ox Nche and Trevor Nyakane, the second lines Jean Kleyn and RG Snyman as well as the third lines Kwagga Smith and Jasper Wiese.
The versatile three-quarter Willie Le Roux, who can cover the full-back, winger or fly-half positions, is the only full-back on the bench. South Africa had already played with a 7-1 bench, rather than a more traditional 6-2 or 5-3, on two occasions: during the 35-7 victory over the All Blacks in a warm-up match then the 13-8 defeat against Ireland in the group stage of the World Cup.
“A team is not fifteen starters and eight substitutes. A team is twenty-three players. We have always said it and, when you make your choices, many things come into account, on a medical level or on that of the analysis of New Zealand", justified the coach Jacques Nienaber, who did not retained neither the fly-half Manie Libbok nor the scrum-half Cobus Reinach. “Take Vincent Koch (right pillar): he couldn't train on Monday and we have a rule which says that if we don't train, we can't be selected so it's Trevor (Nyakane, Editor’s note) who joins the group. But there is not a big difference in level between the players,” Nienaber continued.
Composition de l'Afrique du Sud contre la Nouvelle-Zélande: Willemse - Arendse, Kriel, de Allende, Kolbe - (o) Pollard, (m) de Klerk - Du Toit, Vermeulen, Kolisi (cap.) - Mostert, Etzebeth - Malherbe, Mbonambi, Kitshoff
Substitutes: Fourie, Nche, Nyakane, Kleyn, Snyman, Smith, Wiese, Le Roux
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