“As I’ve said before, we know Saturday’s Test is going to be our most difficult match of the tour,” says Bok coach Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

The fact that Rassie Erasmus kept the same starting line-up for Saturday’s Test against Wales proves that the Springboks have adopted a win-at-all-costs attitude to the final match of 2018.

It has been a long season, and with the World Cup next year, Erasmus could’ve made a few changes to see what some of the fringe players are capable of.

But instead, the Bok boss made just one tweak to his match-23, bringing in the fit-again Eben Etzebeth for Lood de Jager on the bench.

Remember that Wales have won their last three matches against South Africa – two in Cardiff and the last one in Washington in June – and the Boks want revenge.

“Wales defeated us in Washington in June and have now won the last three games against us,” Erasmus said in a statement on Thursday.

“They are a well-balanced and strong side with a great home record, so our boys will be in for a massive contest on Saturday.

“We will be desperate to win, and to end the tour on a high would be fantastic for the experience and growth of this squad.”

The Welsh have gone on an eight-match winning streak, which includes victories over Scotland, France, Argentina, South Africa and Australia.

So while the Boks will be confident after clinching two triumphs on the trot over France and Scotland, Erasmus is expecting another tight encounter at the Principality Stadium (7.20pm SA time kickoff).

“Wales have a formidable squad and their current run of eight unbeaten Tests is proof and also an indication of their good form at the moment,” the coach said. 

“As I’ve said before, we know Saturday’s Test is going to be our most difficult match of the tour.”

Springbok Team

15 Willie le Roux 14 Sbu Nkosi 13 Jesse Kriel 12 Damian de Allende 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi 10 Handré Pollard 9 Embrose Papier 8 Duane Vermeulen 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit 6 Siya Kolisi (captain) 5 Franco Mostert 4 RG Snyman 3 Frans Malherbe 2 Malcolm Marx 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Bench: 16 Bongi Mbonambi 17 Thomas du Toit 18 Vincent Koch 19 Eben Etzebeth 20 Francois Louw 21 Ivan van Zyl 22 Elton Jantjies 23 Cheslin Kolbe.


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