Rugby | England unchanged, Kolbe returns for Springboks

England have named an unchanged side for the Rugby World Cup final, while South Africa have brought Cheslin Kolbe back into their team.

Kolbe comes in for S’bu Nkosi on the wing as the only change from last weekend’s semi-final win over Wales in Yokohama.

The 26-year-old missed the narrow 19-16 due to an ankle injury he aggravated in the quarter-final against Japan, but has recovered in time for the tournament decider at Nissan Stadium on Saturday.

“Chessie is fully fit and ready to go. It’s tough on Sbu to drop out of the 23 altogether but he has made vital contributions to our campaign,” South Africa head coach Erasmus said today.

Siya Kolisi will captain the country for the 20th time on his 50th cap.

Replacement Francois Steyn is the sole survivor from the Springboks’ 2007 World Cup final win over England; the last time South Africa reached the final.

Eddie Jones, meanwhile, has kept faith in the England team that stunned the All Blacks last weekend.

The introduction of scrumhalf Ben Spencer to the bench is the only alteration to the 23-man English squad that beat New Zealand.  

Spencer replaces the injured Willi Heinz.

“It has been a good week, the players have been together a while now so it’s less about the volume of training, it’s more about sharpening the sword,” Jones said.

“We know the physical part of the game is going to be important and the players will go into this game well prepared knowing how we want to play. We will go and play with no fear.”

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Jamie George, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Tom Curry, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Dan Cole, 19 George Kruis, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Jonathan Joseph.

South Africa: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk; 1 Tendai Mtawarira, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Lood de Jager, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter-Steph Du Toit, 8 Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn.