Thoroughly emboldened by his players’ performances‚ confident Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus reassembled the men he believes fit for purpose to pluck England’s petals in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final.
Of course‚ their job is far from done as they head into Saturday’s final against a marauding England team but Erasmus expressed confidence in his team by making just one much anticipated change.
Right wing Cheslin Kolbe has been restored to fitness from an ankle injury which means S’bu Nkosi has to step out of the match day 23. Tough on him‚ but great for Kolbe.
This is a familiar line-up. It was first rolled up against Italy in the pool stages and again in the quarterfinal‚ before Kolbe got injured for the semifinal.
Earlier this week Erasmus effectively named the squad by saying Kolbe would return as the only change and was challenged by an English journalist who wondered why a coach on the eve of a big final would show his hand so early.
“I’m not bluffing‚” Erasmus said with a smile.
Changing the team or suddenly mixing things up would be a betrayal of what the coach has tried to achieve over the last 18 months.
Erasmus has created an environment in which consistency is essential and it is a trait by which he must lead.