Day 21 at the Rugby World Cup: Springboks set sights on quarter-final place

South Africa will progress to the knockout stages with a bonus-point win over Canada, barring Italy causing a major upset by beating the All Blacks.

By Press Association Published: 7 October 2019 - 12.08pm
Rugby Union

South Africa


South Africa can all-but guarantee their place in the quarter-finals on Tuesday with victory over Canada in Kobe.

The Springboks lost their opening game to New Zealand, but will progress to the knockout stages with a bonus-point win, barring Italy causing a major upset by beating the All Blacks in their final match.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at Tuesday’s only fixture.

Springboks’ Willemse one of 13 changes

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus has made 13 changes to the side which started in Friday’s 49-3 win against Italy.

Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi and centre Damian De Allende are the only two players retained, with full-back Damian Willemse set to start just five days after arriving in Japan as an injury replacement for Jesse Kriel.

Erasmus, who was in the Springboks’ line-up the last time the two nations met in 2000, said: “I’ve played against them and this team I’ve picked will know they are in for a physical battle.”

Two-time world champions South Africa bounced back from their opening 23-13 defeat to New Zealand by thrashing Namibia 57-3 before running in seven tries against the Italians.

Coe gets his reward

Andrew Coe has scored Canada's only try at the World Cup
Andrew Coe has scored Canada’s only try at the World Cup (Paul Harding/PA)

Canada’s only try scorer in Japan, full-back Andrew Coe, is one of six changes made by coach Kingsley Jones following his side’s 63-0 defeat to New Zealand in Oita last Wednesday.

Coe touched down in Canada’s 48-7 loss to Italy after stepping off the bench as a second-half replacement, while second-row Kyle Baillie will make his first World Cup appearance after recovering from a leg injury.

Hubert Buydens, Andrew Quattrin and Jake Ilnicki will form a completely new front row and scrum-half Phil Mack replaces Gordon McRorie.

Van Der Merwe living the dream

Canada’s South Africa-born wing DTH Van Der Merwe will finally get to realise his long-held dream when he lines up against the country of his birth at the Kobe Misaki Stadium.

Van Der Merwe, 33, Canada’s all-time leading try scorer, emigrated with his family to Saskatchewan in 2003 when he was 17. He will make his 61st appearance for his adopted country after making his debut against Barbados in 2007.

“Something I’ve looked forward to my whole career is to play against South Africa,” said the Glasgow Warriors back, who has also had spells with Scarlets and Newcastle Falcons. “Now at my last World Cup, it’s quite special.”

Tuesday's fixture

Pool B, South Africa v Canada - ITV4, 1115 BST