Unchanged 23 for Boks

Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel are set to make South African history on Saturday when they become the most-capped centre pairing.

Rassie Erasmus retained his matchday 23 in naming the most experienced team in Springbok history for the series decider against Ireland in Durban on Saturday.

Erasmus named an unchanged starting XV with a total of 990 combined Test caps among them. The total surpasses the 987 caps amassed by the run-on team in the Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand in France last year.

Furthermore, Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel will become the most-capped centre pairing in South African history on Saturday when they combine in the midfield for the 30th time in Tests.

With 20 players in the matchday squad having world cup experience and eight players having made their Test season ‘debut’ last weekend – including captain Siya Kolisi (flanker), Handré Pollard (fly-half) and Cheslin Kolbe (wing), among others – Erasmus hoped for a more clinical performance from his charges this week.

Erasmus also announced that a handful of players will be released from the 39-man squad to appear in the Carling Currie Cup matches this weekend. The players who will be released will be confirmed tomorrow and will rejoin the squad on Sunday.

Springboks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche.

Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 RG Snyman, 21 Marco van Staden, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

Read original story on www.sarugbymag.co.za

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