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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 October 2007, 07:50 GMT 08:50 UK
South Africa unchanged for final
Bryan Habana
Habana's speed will be a major weapon for South Africa

England v South Africa
Saturday, 20 October
Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 2000 BST
Live on BBC Radio 5live and the BBC Sport website

South Africa have named an unchanged starting XV from the side which beat Argentina to face champions England in the World Cup final on Saturday.

Coach Jake White has made one change to the replacements bench, with flanker Wikus van Heerden returning at the expense of ex-skipper Bob Skinstad.

The starting XV has 668 caps and will be their most experienced side ever.

England have already met the Boks in France, with South Africa romping to a 36-0 victory in the group stages.

Springbok scrum-half Fourie du Preez, who was the star of the show as the Boks ran riot just over a month ago, insisted that result would have little bearing on the final.

It will be a close one this time

Springbok star Fourie du Preez

"That was a long time ago. A lot of things have changed in their team," he told BBC Sport.

"We've maybe got a little bit of confidence, knowing we can beat them, but it's a new game.

"Six weeks ago, not in my wildest dreams would I have thought both of our teams would have made it.

"All credit to them, they've shown a lot of character coming back. Jonny Wilkinson has given the team a lot of confidence and their defence is good.

"It's a final, it's a pressure game, so it will be a close one this time."

England have improved considerably since that match but the Springboks will still go into the Paris encounter as favourites.

In winger Bryan Habana they have the tournament's leading try scorer with eight, while full-back Percy Montgomery is the highest points scorer with 93.

Van Heerden started in place of the suspended Schalk Burger when they thrashed England in the pool stages, and Burger is one of just two changes from that comprehensive victory.

BJ Botha was also in the South Africa starting line-up in September but he is out of the tournament because of a knee injury and CJ van der Linde will start at tight-head.

Burger and Van der Linde, who has shaken off a knee problem, both played in South Africa's 37-13 win over Argentina in last Sunday's semi-final.

Van der Linde is joined in the front row by veteran loose-head Os du Randt, the only survivor from the Springboks' 1995 World Cup victory.


South Africa team to play England in the World Cup final:
P Montgomery; JP Pietersen, J Fourie, F Steyn, B Habana; B James, F du Preez; O du Randt, J Smit (capt), CJ van der Linde, B Botha, V Matfield, S Burger, J Smith, D Rossouw.
Replacements: B du Plessis, J du Plessis, J Muller, W van Heerden, R Pienaar, A Pretorius, W Olivier.


SEE ALSO
England turn to Cueto for final
17 Oct 07 |  English
Injured Lewsey to miss Cup final
15 Oct 07 |  English
Josh Lewsey's column
15 Oct 07 |  English
England 0-36 South Africa
14 Sep 07 |  English
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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