According to Pieter-Steph du Toit, the Springboks expect a physical attack from England in tonight’s World Cup semi-final at the Stade de France.
“We hear that they will want to take us on especially in the scrums and looses. There are of course a few other factors that we will also have to pay attention to, but we will be ready for anything,” said the strong forward.
Although South Africa was tempered by a much hotter fire on its way to the semi-final, the players know that they cannot underestimate England.
“In a play-off game you can’t rest on your laurels against any team. We know that there is a tough test waiting for us, but just like England we have also prepared very well. Now we just have to grab our opportunities with both hands,” said Mzwandile Stick.
According to the Springbok assistant coach, the Roses find ways to win games.
“They impressed us with their physical play against Fiji last week and they have chosen their strongest team for the semi-final.”
The Goats struck a blow against the Englishmen in 2019 when they won the World Cup final 32-12 in Yokohama.
Still, Stick warned that every game starts on a clean slate.
“England is a completely different team now. They may have enjoyed a slow run-up to the tournament under Steve Borthwick’s supervision, but they have made a number of changes to their game and structures. To win a World Cup you have to go through difficult times and last week’s game against France prepared us excellently for the semi-final.”
The match starts tonight at 21:00 and the action will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
Springboks: Damian Willemse (full back), Kurt-Lee Arendse (right wing), Jesse Kriel (outside centre), Damian de Allende (inside centre), Cheslin Kolbe (left wing), Manie Libbok (fly-half), Cobus Reinach (scrum-half), Duane Vermeulen (eighth man) , Pieter-Steph du Toit (flank), Siya Kolisi (captain and flank), Franco Mostert (lock), Eben Etzebeth (lock), Frans Malherbe (prop), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker) and Steven Kitshoff (prop). Substitutes: Deon Fourie, Ox Nche, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk, Handré Pollard and Willie le Roux.
England: Freddie Steward (full back), Jonny May (right wing), Joe Marchant (outside centre), Manu Tuilagi (inside centre), Elliot Daly (left wing), Owen Farrell (fly-half), Alex Mitchell (scrum-half), Ben Earl (eighth man), Tom Curry (flank), Courtney Lawes (flank), George Martin (lock), Maro Itoje (lock), Dan Cole (prop), Jamie George (hooker) and Joe Marler (prop). Subs: Theo Dan, Ellis Genge, Kyle Sinckler, Ollie Chessum, Billy Vunipola, Danny Care, George Ford and Ollie Lawrence.