Rugby World Cup Final England v South Africa

Sport / November 1, 2019
by Johanna Roelich

After what feels like no time at all, the 2019 Rugby World Cup final has arrived. England have a chance to win the Web Ellis Trophy for the second time in history, 16 years after the 2003 triumph. Tomorrow, The Lions will take on South Africa in a bid to throw out the memory of 2007, where South Africa beat England 15-6.

Semi-final weekend saw a rollercoaster of emotions around the UK with England’s stunning performance against New Zealand and where Wales fell so painful close yet again at the last four stage.

It was always known that these semi-finals would leave us with a showdown between two of the best sides in the sport, and that’s what we have as England prepare to face South Africa.

England face the daunting task of trying to match or even improve upon their impressive win over New Zealand. But we are feeling confident. England are the favourites and have been for some duration of this tournament. This is one of the strongest teams we have seen in England in some time, the passion, strength and better all-court game than most of their components. This isn’t to say England have an easy ride though. Far from it in fact isn’t going unnoticed. South Africa are probably one of the few sides capable of repelling England in their current form, even if there was nothing pretty about the Springboks’ grinding 16-13 semi-final win over Wales. For all their immense strength, which includes a ‘bomb squad’ of six forwards on the bench, South Africa do not lack finesse. The return of wing Cheslin Kolbe from injury, the only change to the side that beat the Welsh, adds variety to their game. We can sense it’s going to be a close one!

Prediction: England to lift the trophy after beating South Africa by just three points.

Teams

England (15-1)

Elliot Daly; Anthony Watson, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell (capt), Jonny May; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Billy Vunipola, Sam Underhill, Tom Curry; Courtney Lawes, Maro Itoje; Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Dan Cole, George Kruis, Mark Wilson, Ben Spencer, Henry Slade, Jonathan Joseph

South Africa (15-1)

Willie Le Roux; Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph Du Toit, Siya Kolisi (capt); Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth; Frans Malherbe, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Francois Louw, Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn

Kick off time: 9am UK time (ITV1) – 11am in South Africa and 6pm in Japan.

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