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PREVIEW: Boks looking to end Twickenham drought against England in season finale

The Springboks are looking to claim their eighth win of 2023 against England in their final game of the season at Twickenham on Saturday.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The Springboks are looking to claim their eighth win of 2023 against England in their final game of the season at Twickenham on Saturday.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

England 61/100 | Draw 20/1 | South Africa 14/10

England (-3.5) 9/10 | South Africa (+3.5) 9/10

The last time the Boks beat the Roses at the Home of Rugby was 2014, with the side having lost all three of their matchups at the hallowed turf since. Across all 12 of the Tests they’ve played this year, Jacques Nienaber’s men have come out trumps just seven times for a pretty ordinary success rate of 58%. Another defeat here would make it 54%.

The world champions head into the weekend off the back of a thoroughly convincing performance against the Azzurri in Genoa, which would have greatly lifted the spirit in the camp after narrow defeats to Ireland and France. The Boks have clearly looked to develop their ball in hand approach on tour, something which was particularly evident last week, and they should continue that trend here as they look to add to their arsenal ahead of the World Cup.

There are several changes for the Saffas with the side’s England and French-based players released back to their clubs on account of this match falling outside World Rugby’s official Test window.

Evan Roos gets his second start at No 8, with Makazole Mapimpi reclaiming the No 11 shirt and Kurt-Lee Arendse shifting to the right wing for Cheslin Kolbe. Jesse Kriel is back in midfield to partner Damian de Allende while Eben Etzebeth replaces Salmaan Moerat, with the latter dropping out of the matchday 23.

The fresh faces on the bench are Sharks skipper Thomas du Toit, Marco van Staden, Jaden Hendrikse and Canan Moodie.

England opened their November schedule with a disappointing one-point defeat to Argentina before convincingly beating Japan 52-13. Last week, they scored three tries in the final eight minutes to come back from the dead against the All Blacks and steal a 25-25 draw.

Worryingly, the hosts are yet to settle on one discernible game plan, with the World Cup in France less than a year away. Many questions remain regarding the composition of their best backline while the balance in their back row is still off.

In what is set to be another very physical encounter, get on the world champions to clinch a narrow win. England on the plus here for me.



15 Freddie Steward, 14 Tommy Freeman, 13 Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Jack v Poortvliet, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Alex Coles, Jonny Hill, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George,, Mako Vunipola

Subs: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 David Ribbans, 20 Sam Simmonds, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Jack Nowell


15 Willie le Roux, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche.

Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Canan Moodie.

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