Steve Borthwick's side take on the reigning world champions in Saturday night's semi-final at the Stade de France
England are out for revenge after South Africa crushed their World Cup dream in the final four years ago. Now the Springboks stand in the way of making it to the showpiece to face New Zealand for the right to the lift the trophy. Here are our England v South Africa predictions.
South Africa are the new world No 1 and will be confident of making back-to-back finals after dumping the hosts France out of their own tournament in last weekend’s epic quarter-final.
England v South Africa predictions
Josh Graham: South Africa by 17. Aside from just sheer will and belief, I can’t find any reason to suggest England will beat the Springboks. South Africa look far too strong for an England side that only a mother can love. I hope it’s a closer contest than this but can see the reigning champions running away with it to tee up a clash with the All Blacks in the final. Hope I’m proved wrong.
Alan Dymock: South Africa by 12. The Boks are on a roll, and whatever the conditions they can win ugly and they can find an edge. England have a nailed-down, pragmatic style and their defence has been brilliant. But they have not faced a side at the very top end of the world rankings since the Six Nations. It will be blood and thunder, but that is South Africa’s preferred cocktail anyway.
TV Channel ITV1 (UK) – How to watch the Rugby World Cup semi-finals
Venue Stade de France, Paris
Fun Fact: The sixth-largest stadium in Europe, the Stade de France is one of just two stadia in the world to have hosted both football (1998) and rugby union (1999,2007) World Cup Finals – alongside the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Japan.
South Africa form
Lost to Ireland
ENGLAND v SOUTH AFRICA HEAD-TO-HEAD RESULTS
England and South Africa have played each other 44 times with the Springboks winning on 27 occasions. Crucially that includes four out of five Rugby World Cup clashes, including two finals in 2007 and 2019. England’s only win over South Africa at the World Cup came in the 2003 group stage.
November 2022 England 13-27 South Africa
November 2021 England 27-26 South Africa
World Cup final 2019 England 12-32 South Africa
England v South Africa team news
Steve Borthwick has made three changes to his England side with Freddie Steward returning at full-back after Marcus Smith was ruled out after failing part of the HIA protocol. Joe Marler starts at loosehead prop ahead of vice-captain Ellis Genge while George Martin replaces his Leicester team-mate Ollie Chessum in the second-row.
South Africa have named an unchanged 23 for only the second time ever in the Rassie Erasmus-Jacques Nienaber leadership period.
ENGLAND Freddie Steward; Jonny May, Joe Marchant, Manu Tuilagi, Elliot Daly; Owen Farrell (captain), Alex Mitchell; Joe Marler, Jamie George, Dan Cole; Maro Itoje, George Martin; Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Ben Earl
Replacements: Theo Dan, Ellis Genge, Kyle Sinckler, Ollie Chessum, Billy Vunipola, Danny Care, George Ford, Ollie Lawrence
SOUTH AFRICA Damian Willemse; Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe; Manie Libbok, Cobus Reinach; Steven Kitshoff, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe; Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert; Siya Kolisi (captain), Pieter-Steph Du Toit, Duane Vermeulen
Replacements: Deon Fourie, Ox Nche, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk, Handré Pollard, Willie le Roux