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South Africa name unchanged side to face England in Rugby World Cup semi-final

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The Springboks beat hosts France 29-28 in an epic quarter-final last Sunday.

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With no changes made, half-backs Cobus Reinach and Manie Libbok retain their places in the starting XV, while fly-half Handre Pollard remains on the bench.

Head coach Jacques Nienaber has opted again for a 5-3 split of forwards and backs among his replacements.

Scrum-half Reinach, who Nienaber said was better suited to dealing with the French kicking game, replaced regular starter Faf de Klerk for the quarter-final.

Eight of the Springboks’ starting XV began the win over England in the World Cup final in Japan four years ago.

The back row remains unchanged, with captain Siya Kolisi lining up alongside Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen as a combination for the 15th time.

The Springboks’ only defeat in France so far came against Ireland in the pool stage, while England come into the game off the back of last Sunday’s quarter final win over Fiji.

“We’ve been building a quality Rugby World Cup squad for the last few years so that we could be in this position going into the knockout matches,” said Nienaber.

“Like us, they are one game away from a World Cup final and we’ve seen through the history of the tournament that England raise their game for these matches.

“We are closely matched in terms of average player age and caps, both teams are used to playing on the biggest stage. This is do-or-die if either of wants to the lift the trophy next week.”

Veteran full-back Willie le Roux is among the replacements, alongside forwards RG Snyman and Kwagga Smith, who both made a difference against France with their power in the closing stages.

The winner of the match will play either Argentina or New Zealand in the final at the Stade de France on Saturday, 28 October.

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