Louw named amongst replacements for World Cup opener

18 September 2019

Bath Rugby's Francois Louw has been named amongst the replacements as the Springboks field an unchanged 23 for the first time since the 2015 Rugby World Cup for their opening match against New Zealand in Yokohama on Saturday (kick-off 10:45 GMT).

The last time South Africa named an unchanged 23 was 51 matches ago – against New Zealand in the 2015 Rugby World Cup semi-final. 

Vermeulen, who made his debut in 2012, will win his 50th cap in a starting XV with three other half-centurions (Willie le Roux, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth) while there are a further three on the bench (Beast Mtawarira, Francois Louw and Frans Steyn).

Only three of the starting XV have played fewer than 25 tests (Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi) while only replacement scrum-half Herschel Jantjies was not capped before this season.

This is the fifth meeting between the teams at the Rugby World Cup. The Springboks won the 1995 final and 1999 bronze medal match while New Zealand took the 2003 quarter-final and 2015 semi-final.

The Springbok team to play New Zealand in Yokohama

15. Willie le Roux (Wasps, England)

14. Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France)

13. Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks)

12. Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers)

11. Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks)

10. Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls)

9. Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England)

8. Duane Vermeulen (Vodacom Bulls)

7. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers)

6. Siya Kolisi (captain, DHL Stormers)

5. Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England)

4. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers)

3. Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers)

2. Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions)

1. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers)


16. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers)

17. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks)

18. Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls)

19. RG Snyman (Vodacom Bulls)

20. Francois Louw (Bath, England)

21. Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers)

22. Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France)

23. Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls)

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