Cheslin Kolbe returns from injury to South Africa starting XV for Rugby World Cup final against England
- South Africa face England in the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday
- Cheslin Kolbe has recovered from ankle injury that kept him out of semi-final
- Sbu Nkosi drops out of the matchday 23 with just two backs on the bench
South Africa have hot-stepping sensation Cheslin Kolbe back fit for the World Cup final against England – their only change from the side that beat Wales.
Toulouse winger Kolbe comes in for Sbu Nkosi having recovered from an ankle injury.
Siya Kolisi will captain the Springboks as normal, and wins his 50th cap against England. He leads not just a team but a nation on Saturday, and his coach Rassie Erasmus laid out just how significant this final is for South Africa.
‘Getting to this stage is not enough for this team,’ said Erasmus.
Cheslin Kolbe has returned from injury to the Springboks XV for Saturday’s World Cup final
Kolbe scores a try against Italy during the pool stage in Shizuoka earlier this month
SOUTH AFRICA TEAM TO FACE ENGLAND
Le Roux; Kolbe, Am, de Allende, Mapimpi; Pollard, de Klerk; Mtawarira, Mbonambi, Malherbe; Etzebeth, de Jager; Du Toit, Vermeulen, Kolisi.
SUBS: Marx, Kitshoff, Koch, Snyman, Mostert, Louw, Jantjies, Steyn.
‘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.
‘Any Springbok captain carries a heavy load – probably doubly so in Siya’s case – and he has really risen to the occasion over the past two years.
South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus insists getting to the final is not enough for his side
‘No one is hiding from the significance that would be attached to him lifting the trophy on behalf of this team and South Africa. But first and foremost on Saturday this is a rugby match that we’re only focused on winning.’
And on Kolbe, Erasmus said: ‘Chessie is fully fit and ready to go.
‘It’s tough on Sbu to drop out of the 23 altogether but, like the other seven, non-playing squad members – and the two injured players back home (Trevor Nyakane and Jesse Kriel) – he has made vital contributions to our campaign.
‘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 who know what they have to do on Saturday.’