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    RWC2023: SOUTH AFRICA VS NEW ZEALAND

    World Rugby has concluded that there is insufficient evidence against Mbongeni Mbonambi racially abusing England’s Tom Curry during their World Cup semi-final which simply means Mbonambi is eligible to play against New Zealand in the final tomorrow.

    For the final, the Boks have gone from a 5-3 bench split to a 7-1 split to give them the best chance of being successful according to Springboks head coach Jaqcues Nienaber who has made five changes to his match-day squad from the one-point semi-final victory over England, with two in the starting XV and three in a 7-1 split bench.

    “We have plans in place to mitigate for injuries in the backline, but we’re excited about our plan, and we embrace the risk”, said Nienaber.

    “We know we are in for a colossal battle. Every point and inch will count in this match, and we know it will take another top-class effort to come out on top on Saturday”, he concluded.

    South Africa’s final team: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (capt.), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

    Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 RG Snyman, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Jasper Wiese, 23 Willie Le Roux.

    New Zealand’s final team: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Richie Mounga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (capt.), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Ethan de Groot.

    Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukeiaho, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.

    South Africa advanced to the final against England after a match (and a coach) that was against them in all aspects. It’s honestly a miracle that the Boks won that grilling match. They’d been playing catch up the whole game, biased coach and all, but their fighting spirit carried them throughout the game.

    The Springboks will battle New Zealand in the final tomorrow dated 28 October 2023 at 9pm.

    Main picture: Men’s Health South Africa

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