South Africa’s Faf de Klerk earns his 50th cap against Scotland

On Sunday, South Africa’s scrum-half Faf de Klerk will make his 50th appearance for the World Cup holders against Scotland.

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In naming his side two days early, head coach Jacques Nienaber keeps 11 of the players who started against New Zealand.

In place of Wiese, Cheslin Kolbe returns as the left winger.

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The center partnership is formed by Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel.

The XV from the final victory included De Allende, De Klerk, flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit, lock Eben Etzebeth, prop Frans Malherbe and captain Siya Kolisi, while Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff and Franco Mostert all came off the bench.

“We are pleased with the squad depth we have built in the last few months, and we believe this group of players strikes the right balance to achieve the result we need against Scotland,” said Nienaber.

“We are very excited about this occasion. We’ve been building for this World Cup for the last four years and we are thrilled to get our campaign started.

“We’ve been working hard in the last few weeks to make sure we are as prepared as possible going into this match and we are fully aware of the challenge that awaits us.”

World Cup winners Willie le Roux, Duane Vermeulen and RG Snyman are among the replacements this time, with a 6-2 split between forwards and backs.

In the past 15 meetings between the two countries, South Africa has only lost once.

“Scotland are a quality team with a strong pack and skilful backs, and they play with a lot of intensity, so we need to be sharp on attack and defence,” added Nienaber.

“They have proved in the last few seasons that they can beat any team, and with this being the opening game of the World Cup for both sides, they will be equally as charged up as us for the match.”

South Africa: D Willemse, K Arendse, J Kriel, D de Allende, C Kolbe; M Libbok, F de Klerk; S Kitshoff, M Marx, F Malherbe, E Etzebeth, F Mostert, S Kolisi (capt), P du Toit, J Wiese.

Replacements: B Mbonambi, O Nche, T Nyakane, R Snyman, M van Staden, D Vermeulen, G Williams, W le Roux.

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