'Final before the final', that’s what the clash between two rivals Springboks versus New Zealand has been touted.
For South African’s this is the time to get that monkey off from our backs!
New Zealanders has had a good run against Bokke in the past but on Saturday that’s where it all ends, finish & klaar…
With the return of influential lock Lood de Jager, this is a welcome boost for South Africa after being declared fit to start on Saturday.
Veteran lock Victor Matfield takes a seat on the bench, the 38-year-old primed for his 126th cap against the defending champions at Twickenham.
Hooker Bismarck du Plessis will also start for the Springboks, with the hand wound he sustained in 23-19 victory over Wales to be heavily strapped up.
Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer hailed New Zealand as the best side in rugby history – but still insists South Africa can topple the World Cup holders.
“This is probably the best team that’s ever played the game,” said Meyer of Steve Hansen’s All Blacks.
“If you look at their run after the World Cup, they’ve just got better after the previous World Cup, and that doesn’t happen in world rugby.
It will need our best performance probably ever to beat them, because they are the best team that there’s ever been. In saying that, you have to believe you can beat them.
“We know we have to be at our best. Every single game against them has gone right to the wire. They know how to take the pressure.
“I’m very happy with our bench, it’s one of the best I’ve ever picked, and in the last 10 to 15 minutes I know there are guys I can call on for the crucial moments.”
Hooker Du Plessis is confident his hand problem will not cause him any issues at the weekend.
“It was quite funny when I wanted to look at my hand, Francois Louw put his hand over it and said, ‘Please don’t look’,” said Du Plessis, able to laugh about the injury unintentionally inflicted by his team-mate.
“We’ve been working quite hard on it and hopefully it will be 100 per cent on Saturday.
“We’ve been in the knock-out phase from the get-go after our defeat to Japan.
“We’ve had that mindset all the way and we must take that mindset in with us again this week – we only have one chance.”
“Yes, the boys will have to play the hardest game of their lives to win,” says Meyer.
Boks line–up: Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen, Jesse Kriel, Damian De Allende, Bryan Habana, Handre Pollard, Fourie du Preez (captain); Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, Francois Louw, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.
Reserves: Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Jannie du Plessis, Victor Matfield, Willem Alberts, Ruan Pienaar, Pat Lambie and Jan Serfontein.