Flaming South Africa names 23-man squad unchanged for England test | South Africa Rugby Team

South Africans rarely need an excuse to feel wronged. This is especially true for the country’s most successful sports team. The Springboks’ World Cup victories in 1995, 2007 and 2019, as well as the series triumph over the British and Irish Lions this year, may have been built on the foundation of strong attackers and a game of strong kicks, but they were fueled by a desire to prove people wrong – to make a blurry picture of unity real, to allay a pervasive sense of national insecurity.

World Rugby supplied water to the mill this week. The game’s governing body has released the list of finalists for its annual awards and, although South Africa is at the top of its rankings, has not nominated Jacques Nienaber or any Springbok for the coach or male player. of the year.

“We obviously respect the process,” was Nienaber’s diplomatic response to the snub. “We are very happy for the guys who were nominated. We wish all the nominees good luck.

What is said in the locker room is confidential. But there is no doubt that the coach and his rugby director, Rassie Erasmus, will push the injured egos to clinch a first England victory since 2014 and with it a free kick of their European tour.

To do so, they kept the same 23rd matchday that beat Scotland 30-15 in Edinburgh last Saturday. A new half-back duo will begin while the Montpellier duo Handré Pollard and Cobus Reinach will replace Elton Jantjies and Herschel Jantjies. Nienaber called the changes “rotational” rather than the result of a change in approach, but said Jantjies, the opening half, offered more “versatility from the bench”.

Another change, Franco Mostert gives way to Lood de Jager in the second row. De Jager, who has overcome two serious shoulder surgeries and only appeared in two games with the Sale Sharks this season, is the more conventional of the two locks. Mostert can play both tight and loose and gives Nienaber flexibility with his second half substitutions.

This is the key to South Africa’s strength. The much-vaunted “Bomb Squad”, the nickname for their eight successors, has been elevated to mythological status in his country. The Springboks have lost six consecutive halftime tests since September, winning three. In 25 matches since November 2018, they have dominated or equaled their opponents in the second half on 23 occasions.

Nienaber changed his entire front row before half-time against Scotland and both heavyweight groups will be keen on their chances against a relatively inexperienced England line without Ellis Genge and Jamie George. Not that Nienaber leaves room for English excuses in case of victory for his team.

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“Overall, in all international teams the number of injuries is increasing,” he said, brushing off the absence of Owen Farrell by mentioning injuries to Cheslin Kolbe, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Faf from Klerk. Not that Nienaber will use it to throw his charges. He has all the ammunition he will need.

South Africa: Red ; Kriel, Am, De Allende, Mapimpi; Pollard, Reinach; Nché, Mbonambi, Nyakane, Etzebeth, De Jager, Kolisi (capt), Smith, Vermeulen. Substitutes: Marx, Kitshoff, Koch, Mostert, Wiese, H Jantjies, E Jantjies, Steyn

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