The Springboks, in the World Cup final against England, will play exactly the same way they have done all tournament. They will rely on the strength of their set piece and look to the famed “bomb squad” to provide impact in the last 30 minutes. Faf de Klerk will kick more than he will pass.
There were no surprises with Bok coach Rassie Erasmus’ selections for the final. Erasmus has been consistent in his matchday squads he has chosen for the Rugby Championship and most of the World Cup.
Erasmus has been clear in his player identification, but what has changed during the World Cup is how he has evolved his thinking with some players, who a few months ago were regular starters but are now finishing the game.
Hooker Malcolm Marx, in particular, has added a dimension to the Boks when coming off the bench and Erasmus has relied exclusively on a power forward unit that has no equal in the game, when it comes to the standard of substitutes. Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Marx and RG Snyman would start in every other international team and Erasmus has been brilliant in how he has used his forwards.
England haven’t faced a pack as good as South Africa’s.
Erasmus, early in the World Cup, reverted to a “six forwards and two backs” substitutes bench and he may even have been tempted to go seven one when Cheslin Kolbe was declared fit. Kolbe could provide cover at scrumhalf.