Tokyo - South African coach Rassie Erasmus predictably named his No 1 side on Wednesday to face New Zealand in the marquee clash on the opening weekend of the Rugby World Cup.


He will roll out the same side that thrashed Japan in their final warm-up match before the tournament, a line-up that had only one change from the team that drew 16-all with New Zealand last month when Siya Kolisi was injured.

Between them, the Springboks and All Blacks have won five of the eight World Cups and Erasmus has been quite open about the game plan needed to take down his arch-rivals in their Pool B clash at Yokohama on Saturday.

Against Japan, Springbok halfbacks Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard spent much of the time kicking the ball away so the South Africans could rehearse their defensive lines ahead of the sustained periods of attack they expect from the All Blacks.

"We've picked our best side," Erasmus said.

"It's going to be a massive challenge with the rain they're predicting. Everyone's talking about the slippery ball and the wetness. Kicking is going to play a big part."

Erasmus believed his backline - with a speedy outside trio of Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi - would match whoever the All Blacks put up but the crunch area would be how his bigger forward pack handled the breakdown in the humidity as the game wore on.

"We've been working really hard on that over the last six or seven Test matches. It will be a massive challenge."

With Kolisi restored to full health he will form a powerful loose forward trio with Duane Vermeulen and Pieter-Steph du Toit, with the tight five of Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx and Steven Kitshoff adding muscle.

Saturday's clash kicks off at 11:45 (SA time).


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, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff 

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel

New Zealand

15 Beauden Barrett  14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Ardie Savea, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Ofa Tuungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Sonny Bill Williams, 23 Ben Smith