The reigning world champions will look to reassert their dominance after defeat to Ireland

You are only as good as your last game and the Springboks will have that at the front of their minds. Although they undoubtedly played their part in a thrilling clash with Ireland, they came out second best, losing 13-8 in Paris. And that will give the reigning world champions plenty of ammunition with which to face Tonga. Here are our South Africa v Tonga predictions.

The Pacific Islanders have shown glimpses of what they can do so far at this Rugby World Cup but with the likes of Salesi Piutau in their ranks then it is only a matter of time before they do some real damage.

Read more: How to watch South Africa v Tonga wherever you are

South Africa v Tonga predictions

Josh Graham: South Africa by 35. The Springboks will be eager to show a response to their defeat and I’m expecting Tonga to feel the full wrath of a wounded beast. It’s incredible to think exciting combinations like Andre Esterhuizen and Canan Moodie don’t even get a sniff in the first-choice 23. Expect the Boks to finish their pool campaign in emphatic style.

Alan Dymock: South Africa by 33. Look, is it odd to see Marco van Staden as the sub hooker, backing up Deon Fourie at No 2? Sure. You’d want to pressure the lineout and the scrum will not be as powerful as it can be. But look at the rest of that pack. If a 75% Pollard is to be reintroduced to Test rugby, let these monstrous blokes build the armchair. They will want to keep it tight until Tonga are ragged.

Kick Off Time 8pm BST – 9pm Local –Sunday 1st October

TV Channel ITV1 (UK) – How To Watch The Rugby World Cup

Venue Stade Velodrome, Marseille

Capacity 67,394

Fun Fact: The venue for the 2022 Champions Cup Final between Leinster and La Rochelle, the Velodrome was first used to host a Six Nations game in 2018 when France played Italy in front of 50,000 fans.

South Africa form

Lost to Ireland

Beat Romania

Beat Scotland

Lost to New Zealand

Beat Wales

Read more: Vermeulen in coach box – Jacques Nienaber explains

Tonga form

Lost to Scotland

Lost to Ireland

Beat Canada

Beat Canada

Lost to Samoa


South Africa may have won the 2007 Rugby World Cup but they almost came a cropper against the ʻIkale Tahi a week after thrashing England 36-0 in the pool stage.

The Springboks rung the changes for Tonga in Lens but almost paid the price, narrowly escaping with a 30-25 victory. And the Pacific Islanders almost snatched it at the death!

The first match between these sides at Newlands in 1997 was a comfortable victory for South Africa, the home side prevailing 74-10.

South Africa v Tonga team news

The big news from the 2019 winners is that late call-up Handre Pollard starts at fly-half. Manie Libbok’s wayward goal-kicking has led many to suggest Pollard should be parachuted into the No 10 jersey if the Boks make the quarter-finals, so it will be interesting to see how the Leicester Tigers man gets on.

Related: South Africa Rugby World Cup  squad – Pollard in to face Tonga

SOUTH AFRICA Willie le Roux; Grant Williams, Canan Moodie, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi; Handré Pollard, Cobus Reinach; Ox Nche, Deon Fourie, Vincent Koch; Eben Etzebeth, Marvin Orie; Siya Kolisi (captain), Duane Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese

Replacements: Marco van Staden, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Jaden Hendrikse, Manie Libbok, Jesse Kriel

Read more: Tonga Rugby World Cup squad

TONGA Salesi Piutau; Fine Inisi, Malakai Fekitoa, Pita Ahki, Anzelo Tuitavuki; William Havili, Augustine Pulu; Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, Paula Ngauamo, Ben Tameifuna (captain); Halaleva Fifita, Sam Lousi; Tanginoa Halaifonua, Sione Talitui, Semisi Paea

Replacements: Sam Moli, Tau Koloamatangi, Sosefo Apikotoa, Adam Coleman, Sione Vailanu, Sonatane Takulua, Patrick Pellegrini, Afusipa Taumoepeau

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