Rassie Erasmus will have his last test as head coach with the Springboks on Saturday when they face England in the World Cup Final.
With only one change to the starting XV, most supporters will be happy to see Cheslin Kolbe name on the team sheet as is the coach.
“Chessie is fully fit and ready to go,” said Erasmus.
“It’s tough on Sbu to drop out of the 23 altogether but, like the other seven, non-playing squad members – and the two injured players back home [Trevor Nyakane and Jesse Kriel] – he has made vital contributions to our campaign.
“But we have been developing some momentum through the tournament, which has come from consistency, and although we know there are things we can do better this is a fit, well-practiced set of combinations who know what they have to do on Saturday.”
“Getting to this stage is not enough for this team,” said Erasmus.
“We now have what may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to become World Champions – something that would mean so much to our country and our people.
“We know the excitement that there is back home and that the country may well be coming to a standstill on Saturday lunchtime in South Africa. There’s a huge weight of expectation.
“We may not be favourites but these players will leave nothing in the tank. We know how the wins in 1995 and 2007 lifted the country – even if it was momentarily. We want to give South Africa that experience once again.”
It is maybe Rassie’s last test match as head coach but it is our captain Siya Kolisi 50th test for South Africa.
“It’s a great achievement for Siya,” said Erasmus.
“Any Springbok captain carries a heavy load – probably doubly so in Siya’s case – and he has really risen to the occasion over the past two years.
“No one is hiding from the significance that would be attached to him lifting the trophy on behalf of this team and South Africa. But first and foremost on Saturday this is a rugby match that we’re only focused on winning.”
Rassie has taken a Springbok side from being 7 or 8 in the World loosing to Italy to a side that are playing in the World Cup Final but this will be his last test match.
“It is probably my last Test – it is my last test match that I will be the head coach,” he told media on Thursday after naming his side for Saturday’s final.
“For me, it’s an emotional one in the sense that I didn’t think 25 Test matches would go that quickly.
“When I went to Munster, I was sort of in the mode of doing the family thing and making sure that I saw my children in the last four or five years before they get out of school.
“The moment you get hands-on with the Springboks again, the adrenaline starts pumping again … it is a totally different feeling, and I am enjoying it thoroughly now.
“It’s wonderful to be here. It’s sad that it’s only three days, and then it is all over.
“But I will be heavily involved, hopefully, still after this – whatever way we are going to go with the head coach.
“Me being involved again gives me such hope for what rugby can do for South Africa.
“I was one of those guys three years ago who said ‘Let’s just play, boys, let’s just play. Stop talking about this hope thing, because everybody is talking about. Rugby is rugby, and let’s just play’.
“But I’ve totally changed my mind. I believe if we play the right way, and with the passion, and the people can see it, it just helps people forget about their problems, and agree with things.
“I have enjoyed it thoroughly, and whatever happens on Saturday, we have to make sure we use this for the next four, five, six, seven years and that it doesn’t get lost again.”