Rassie Erasmus has confirmed that Saturday’s World Cup final against England in Yokohama will be his last as Springbok head coach.
Erasmus has served in the dual role of Bok coach and SA Rugby director of rugby since the beginning of 2018.
However, Erasmus confirmed that he will be stepping down as head coach at the end of this year and that the 2019 World Cup final will be his last game coaching the team and defence coach Jacques Nienaber has been heavily touted to be successor.
‘It’s probably my last Test match. It is my last Test match of being head coach,’ Erasmus said. ‘It’s an emotional one. I didn’t think 25 Tests would go that quickly.
‘I will still be heavily involved whatever way we go in terms of the next Bok coach. I must say, just being the coach gave me such hope again for South African rugby. Two years ago, everybody was talking about this hope thing, but I was like, let’s just focus on the rugby. I’ve changed my mind. If we play with passion and people see it, it can help them forget about their problems. We have to use this platform. No matter what happens on Saturday, we have to use what we’ve built to take us forward in the next six or seven years.’
Meanwhile Cheslin Kolbe returns to the right wing in the only change to the Springboks starting line-up for this Saturday’s World Cup final against England in Yokohama.
Kolbe regains the right-wing berth from stand-in Sbu Nkosi in the only change to the team that claimed a 19-16 victory over Wales.
Siya Kolisi will lead the team out for the 20th time as he becomes the eighth player in the 23 to have won 50 caps.
Rassie Erasmus named the now familiar 6-2 split on the bench to field a settled lineup, 22 of whom will be appearing together for the fourth time in the tournament.
Springboks 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn.