Rugby World Cup: England vs South Africa lineups – A repeat of the 2019 final and another Springboks win?

England vs South Africa
The England players in a group huddle during a the team run training session at the INSEP in Paris. Picture date: Friday October 20, 2023. – Photo by Icon sport


Saturday evening in Saint-Denis with the winner taking on New Zealand in the final next weekend – could there be a greater incentive for this England versus South Africa semi-final? It is going to be noisy, passionate and full-bloodied, everything we have come to expect in this 2023 Rugby World Cup!

England and South Africa were both involved in very close quarter-finals last Sunday. A 30-24 win over Fiji booked England’s place in the semi-final with South Africa overcoming France 29-28 in one of the all-time greatest games of international rugby. And both sides will be familiar with the other, let’s not forget that they went head to head in the 2019 final with South Africa triumphing 32-12. Can England get Rugby World Cup revenge in this game? Let’s dig a little deeper into this match.

England vs South Africa team lineups and news 

With a place in the final on the line, the coaches of both teams will be leaving nothing to chance with their selections.

Team news: England

Full back Marcus Smith misses out from England’s quarter final triumph due to a facial injury as one of three changes. The players to come into the side are Freddie Steward, Joe Marler and George Martin with Ellis Genge and Ollie Chessum both dropping to the bench.

Team news: South Africa

Anyone who watched the France vs South Africa game last Sunday evening would want to see the same XV for the Springboks, such was the exciting spectacle they put on. The good news is that Jacques Nienaber has obliged and there are no changes to the South Africa side!

England’s predicted lineup

1 Joe Marler, 2 Jamie George, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 George Martin, 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Tom Curry, 8 Ben Earl, 9 Alex Mitchell, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Elliot Daly, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 13 Joe Marchant, 14 Jonny May, 15 Freddie Steward

Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Ollie Chessum, 20 Billy Vunipola,
21 Danny Care, 22 George Ford, 23 Ollie Lawrence

South Africa’s predicted lineup

1 Steven Kitshoff, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 10 Manie Libbok, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 12 Damian de Allende, 13 Jesse Kriel, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 15 Damian Willemse

Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Kwagga Smith,
21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Willie Le Roux

Powerful South Africa not to be stopped

South Africa Semi-Finals
Handre POLLARD and Faf DE KLERK of South Africa are celebrating in front of Francois CROS of France during the Rugby World Cup 2023 quarter final match between France and South Africa at Stade de France on October 15, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Hugo Pfeiffer/Icon Sport)

Since the turn of the century, England have reached three semi-finals and won them all, but they come into this match as the underdogs and although they have won every match in the tournament, they have been far from convincing. South Africa have won two of the last four Rugby World Cups and are exceedingly hard to stop as well as being supremely organised.

The Springboks have won two of the last three head to heads against England, including by a margin of 14 points in November last year,  and lead overall 27-16.

Venue- Stade de France

Date- 21/10/2023

Time- 20:00 GMT 

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