Springboks recall Pollard, Reinach and De Jager for England finale

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England return - South Africa lock Lood de Jager (C) (AFP/Geoff Caddick)
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South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber has recalled fly-half Handre Pollard and scrum-half Cobus Reinach, together with veteran lock Lood de Jager, to his starting XV for Saturday's World Cup final rematch against England at Twickenham.

The trio have all been selected in what the Springboks said were "rotational changes" to the side that took the field for last week's 30-15 win against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Pollard and Reinach have replaced Elton Jantjies and Herschel Jantjies, who are both now on the bench. De Jager has returned in place of Franco Mostert, who will also be among the replacements this weekend.

South Africa's starting team contains 10 survivors from the team that beat England 32-12 in the 2019 World Cup final in Yokohama -- the last time the two nations met -- including try-scoring wing Makazole Mapimpi, captain Siya Kolisi and Pollard, who kicked 22 points in that match.

Nienaber, asked if he expected a backlash from Eddie Jones's England side, told reporters: "I won't know what Eddie is telling his players. From our perspective the World Cup has been so long ago.

"It's water under the bridge. You can't stay and live in that moment. You need to move on and we definitely did, even from the British and Irish Lions."

Nienaber said South Africa's sights were now set on the next World Cup, with the Springboks bidding for a clean sweep of wins on a tour that started with a 23-18 victory over Wales.

"It's a new focus, new objectives and we are working towards France 2023," he said. "England will pose different threats to Scotland, and with that in mind we have decided to start with Handre, Cobus and Lood."

Victory for the top-ranked Springboks, who last won at Twickenham in 2014, would mean a record of nine wins in 13 Tests this year, including a 2-1 series success against the Lions.

"England have made it clear that they'll come hard at us in this match, and with a few British and Irish Lions players in their midst, home ground advantage and a new record of eight wins in a row against Australia adding to their motivation this weekend, so we know it will be a hard grind."

England, who defeated the Wallabies 32-15 last week, are due to name their side on Thursday.

South Africa (15-1)

Willie le Roux; Jesse Kriel, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach; Duane Vermeulen, Kwagga Smith, Siya Kolisi (capt), Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Trevor Nyakane, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Jasper Wiese, Herschel Jantjies, Elton Jantjies, Frans Steyn

Coach: Jacques Nienaber (RSA)

jdg/jw

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