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This is the battle of the best first names in the competition: on the one hand, Desiderius, Tjiuee, Thomasau, Clivan, Prince and Helarius. On the other, Lood, Beast, Kwagga, Elton, Cheslin, Siya, and Warwick. And there will be three Jantjies on the field. South Africa vs Namibia in the Rugby World Cup. Join us on The Roar for the live blog from 7:45pm AEST.
The battle of Southern Africa commences this Saturday with the loser definitely out of contention, as New Zealand and Italy are unbeaten, and only a one-loss or better team will advance to meet mighty mighty Ireland.
This should be a try-fest for the Boks, who sit behind New Zealand and Italy in Pool B at the moment. But some of the combinations may be a little rusty.
Look for the scrum to be a holy mess. Beast-Bongi-Koch will make boerewors of the poor Namibian front row. The lineout may also be a frightening debacle for hooker Louis van der Westhuizen, because the Boks will put RG Snyman and Lood de Jager high in the air at the front and the middle.
Attack-minded Elton Jantjies will be next to big-booted Frans Steyn, so expect plenty of pop passes, tactical kicks, and skyballs.
It’s in the outside channels where all eyes will flow: can strong S’bu Nkosi bolt back into the elite side ahead of a tentative Makazole Mapimpi?
And when Cheslin Kolbe comes on near the end, can he play a little fullback, to give Rassie Erasmus options against Ireland?
With Jesse Kriel out with a tweaked hamstring, unlucky Lukhanyo Am has to start again, in the demanding 13 jersey. This is a worry.
The Boks won the Rugby Championship with aggressive defence and used a warm up match with Japan to ingrain that style, but the All Blacks refused to play that game, kicking to the Boks over 30 times after their first nervous 20 minutes of Benny Hill passing and running around with heads cut off.
So, expect Rassie to go into full-blown Irish preparation: back to basics in the ruck and passing game.
For Namibia, they will think of this as a win if they stay within 50 points.
Springboks by 75.