Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has named his team for their opening 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B clash against the All Blacks in Yokohama on Saturday.


The Springbok 23-man squad is unchanged from the one which beat Japan 41-7 in Saitama earlier this month.

No 8 Duane Vermeulen will reach a milestone by playing his 50th Test on Saturday.

The previous time the Springboks named an unchanged match-day 23 was 51 matches ago - against New Zealand in the 2015 Rugby World Cup semi-final.

The Boks had beaten Wales 23-19 in the quarter-finals, before going down 20-18 to the All Blacks.

"We've found some consistency and some momentum in a number of ways this season and one of them is in selection," Erasmus said via a press statement.
"We have 31 players in the squad, any of whom I would be happy to select - as well as standby players back home - but this is a line-up that has worked well as a starting combination and one with real momentum to come from the bench.
"They have emerged together over the past 18 months as our game has developed and matured. We're continuing to develop and new players are always pushing a claim but we've prepared well and we're looking forward to what will be another extremely close match."

Vermeulen, who made his Test debut in 2012, will win his 50th cap in a starting XV with three other half-centurions (Willie le Roux, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth), while there are a further three on the bench (Tendai Mtawarira, Francois Louw and Frans Steyn).
Only three of the starting XV have played fewer than 25 Tests (Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi) while only replacement scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies was not capped before this season.
Erasmus added: "We have got good experience and leaders through the team - including four players who have captained the team at one time or another and three others who have captained their franchises - as well as some talented, relative newcomers for a good balance I believe."

Saturday's clash is scheduled for 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

- SA Rugby