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Louw in unchanged Bok XV for World Cup semi-final

21 October 2015

Bath Rugby flanker Francois Louw has been named in South Africa's unchanged starting XV to face New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final in Twickenham this Saturday (kick-off 16:00). 

The only change to the match-day squad is at replacement lock, where Victor Matfield has overcome his hamstring injury and takes over from Pieter-Steph du Toit, bringing even more experience to the bench.

It’s the first time since last November that head coach Heyneke Meyer has been able to name an unchanged team for back-to-back Tests and only the sixth time since his appointment in 2012.

“It’s great to be able to give another run to the team that got us through to the semi-finals in the biggest Test of the year,” said Meyer. 

“Victor’s inclusion on the bench gives us even more experience there and, as we saw last weekend against Wales, when the replacements did very well towards the end of the match, this will be crucial.His influence will also be pivotal against a strong New Zealand line-out.” 

Meyer said his team is braced for a massive onslaught on Saturday. 

“We’re playing against the defending champions and the top-ranked side in the world, but the current New Zealand side can also be regarded as arguably one of the best Test teams ever,” said Meyer. 

“We have the utmost respect for their players and coaching staff and although there is an intense rivalry we actually get along very well away from the field. 

“But we have to believe we can beat them otherwise we’ll be wasting our time on Saturday. We will have to be at our ultimate best and although we played some excellent rugby against Wales, there are always things to improve on. 

“Tests against New Zealand are very intense and the margins over the last couple of years have been small. We’re not expecting anything different this weekend and the self-belief is there. 

“Everyone in our group is massively excited about Saturday’s challenge. For many players this will be an once-in-a-lifetime occasion and we want to go out there and make it count in front of what will be a magnificent crowd at a superb stadium.” 

Lood de Jager will undergo a late fitness assessment on Friday after which a call on his availability will be made. If he can't play, Matfield will start with Pieter-Steph du Toit on the bench. 

The Springbok team to face New Zealand in Twickenham: 

Position

Name

Franchise / Club

Test Caps

Test points

15

Willie le Roux

Toyota Cheetahs

32

45

14

JP Pietersen

Cell C Sharks

64

110

13

Jesse Kriel

Vodacom Bulls

9

15

12

Damian De Allende

DHL Stormers

11

5

11

Bryan Habana

Toulon

115

320

10

Handré Pollard

Vodacom Bulls

18

159

9

Fourie du Preez (captain)

Suntory

75

80

8

Duane Vermeulen

DHL Stormers

33

10

7

Schalk Burger (vice-captain)

DHL Stormers

84

80

6

Francois Louw

Bath

41

40

5

Lood de Jager

Toyota Cheetahs

17

20

4

Eben Etzebeth

DHL Stormers

42

5

3

Frans Malherbe

DHL Stormers

10

0

2

Bismarck du Plessis

Cell C Sharks

77

55

1

Tendai Mtawarira

Cell C Sharks

73

10

Replacements:

16

Adriaan Strauss

Vodacom Bulls

52

30

17

Trevor Nyakane

Vodacom Bulls

21

5

18

Jannie du Plessis

Cell C Sharks

68

5

19

Victor Matfield

Vodacom Bulls

125

35

20

Willem Alberts

Cell C Sharks

36

35

21

Ruan Pienaar

Ulster

87

135

22

Pat Lambie

Cell C Sharks

48

131

23

Jan Serfontein

Vodacom Bulls

24

10

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