AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR RUGBY PREVIEW Sat: England v South Africa

Jacques Nienaber’s South Africa side are red-hot favourites to progress from a rematch of the 2019 final against England in Saturday night’s semi-final in Paris.

The victor will set up a winner-takes-all showdown with either New Zealand or Argentina in a week’s time.

Three-time champions South Africa defeated hosts France 29-28 in a thrilling quarter-final to keep their title defence on track, while England battled to a 30-24 victory over Fiji.

Freddie Steward returns at full-back in one of three changes made by England. The remaining two changes are seen in the front five where Joe Marler starts ahead of Ellis Genge and George Martin comes in for Ollie Chessum – both unexpected adjustments.

England field eight survivors from the starting XV that was overrun 32-12 by South Africa in the 2019 World Cup final.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi will lead out an unchanged team against Steve Borthwick’s side

South Africa have won four of the five previous meetings, with England’s only win coming during their run to the trophy in 2003.


However, since that meeting, they have lost the last three on the bounce to South Africa in the tournament.

The Springboks’ varied attacking game makes it tough to predict when or if they will get over the England line.

There is a pretty solid chance that South Africa might kick an early penalty goal through Manie Libbok, while England are likely to get on the board through Owen Farrell.

This clash is expected to be physical and it might even spill over into outright aggression on the park. However, with these two highly professional teams, there is a good chance we will get through 80 minutes without seeing a player go into the bin for either team.

In the outrights, England is long enough to make them an attractive proposition for an unqualified win, but if the quarter-finals are anything to go by, this clash could be another score game, and it is reasonable to assume that if England wins, they will do it by 1-5 points.

South Africa’s wide defence is known to be their weak spot, and don’t be surprised to see a quality finisher like Jonny May take advantage of that to sneak in at the corner.


Ben Earl gets the chance to test his impressive recent form against a legendary No 8 in Duane Vermeulen, and he is another player who could be worth backing for the anytime score.

South Africa’s Kurt-Lee Arendse has scored 13 tries in 13 Tests and will often pop up at just the right moment for the Springboks. His record suggests he is good for at least one try every 80 minutes.

BACK England to win by 1-5 points 1pt at 9/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Jonny May anytime tryscorer 1pt at 11/4 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Ben Earl anytime tryscorer 1pt at 4/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Kurt-Lee Arendse anytime tryscorer 1pt at 11/10 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

PROFIT/LOSS (OCT 2023): LOSS -4.24 points



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