CALL IT an overhaul but its for a valid reason.
Boks starting XV to face host Japan in the Quarter-finals of the RUGBY World Cup on Sunday, has been changed, with only captain Siya Kolisi and Damian de Allende, getting the nod.
The 13 change means Boks reverts to the starting XV that walloped Italy 49-3, a decision by head coach Rassie Erasmus and his technical team.
The green and yellow outfit also stamped their authority by outnumbering Canada 66-7 in Kobe last Tuesday.
Simply put: no room for errors!
“We were satisfied with the performance against Italy and want to build on that,” said Erasmus.
“We have been improving and building momentum this season and we will be looking for further improvements this weekend.
“Japan are a well-coached team and have deservedly climbed to seventh in the world rankings. It’ll be a good challenge but we’re definitely up for it.”
“When we set out on this campaign at the start of last season, one of the things we said we wanted to do was broaden and deepen the experience in the squad,” said Erasmus.
“We’re now in a position where everyone in the starting XV has had a proper taste of top-level Test rugby and we’ve got a strong spine of Test experience for these high-pressure matches.
“You need that experience when it comes to handling the pressure situations we will face on Sunday and I think we’ve achieved that now.”
The Boks aim is to reach semi-finals for the fifth time in seven appearances while, for Japan, it is their first appearance in the play-off rounds at the ninth attempt.
The winner will play the victor in the France v Wales match in Yokohama on Sunday, October 27.
It kicks off at 12:15 (SA time) on Sunday.
Bring it home Bokke!
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn
Image (Boks hard at training in preparation for another duel against Japan on Sunday).