The #2 ranked New Zealand All Blacks open their 2019 Rugby World Cup against #4 South Africa in a Pool B match at International Stadium Yokahama on 21 September. Kickoff is at 18:45 local (5:45 am ET). The match may be viewed on NBC Sports Gold live or on replay as part of a subscription package.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen has selected his matchday squad to face South Africa.
The forwards starting front row includes props Joe Moody and Nepo Laulala with Dane Coles at hooker while having props Ofa Tuungafasi and Angus Ta’avao and hooker Codie Taylor as impact subs. The locks include 112-Test veteran Samuel Whitelock and Scott Barrett, with Patrick Tuipulotu ready from the bench. The back row also is experienced with loose forwards Ardie Savea at 6, Sam Cane in the openside flanker No 7 and Captain Kieran Read at number eight, making his 115th Test start. Loose forward Shannon Frizell is a reserve.
In the backline, Aaron Smith will start at scrumhalf with TJ Perenara a reserve, Richie Mo’unga is at 10, with Ryan Crotty and Anton Lienert- Brown the starting centers, with Sonny Bill Williams to provide added power from the bench. The back three has George Bridge and Sevu Reece on the wings and Beauden Barrett at fullback. Added experience comes from the bench from Ben Smith, who has been in 80 tests.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has selected the same line-up that featured in that draw in the Rugby Championship with one exception. Siya Kolisi was injured then and Kwagga Smith played at number six.
Siya Kolisi will become the third player to captain the Springboks in a World Cup match wearing the number six jersey, following Francois Pienaar (five matches in 1995) and Corné Krige (three matches in 2003).
Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard are the starting halfbacks for the 12th time. Makazole Mapimpi has scored eight tries in eight appearances for the Springboks. Only Bryan Habana (10) and Stefan Terblanche (8) also scored at least eight tries in their first eight appearances for the Springboks.
Frans Steyn is the only player left from the squad that won RWC 2007. He is vying to become the second Springbok to win two world titles after Os du Randt (1995, 2007).
New Zealand: 1 Joe Moody, 2 Dane Coles, 3 Nepo Laulala, 4 Sam Whitelock, 5 Scott Barrett, 6 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane, 8 Kieran Read (capt.), 9 Aaron Smith, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 11 George Bridge, 12 Ryan Crotty, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 14 Sevu Reece, 15 Beauden Barrett 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Sonny Bill Williams, 23 Ben Smith
South Africa: 1. Steven Kitshoff 2. Malcolm Marx 3. Frans Malherbe 4. Eben Etzebeth 5. Franco Mostert 6. Siya Kolisi (capt.) 7. Pieter-Steph Du Toit 8. Duane Vermeulen 9. Francois Faf De Klerk 10. Handre Pollard 11. Makazole Mapimpi 12. Damian de Allende 13. Lukhanyo Am 14. Cheslin Kolbe 15. Willie Le Roux 16. Mbongeni Mbonambi 17. Tendai Mtawarira 18. Trevor Nyakane 19. RG Snyman 20. Francois Louw 21. Herschel Jantjies 22. Frans Steyn 23. Jesse Kriel