Tokyo: Electrifying speedster Cheslin Kolbe was named on the wing as South Africa announced a full-strength team on Thursday for this weekend's Rugby World Cup quarter-final against hosts Japan.
Kolbe returns to the side after an ankle injury as the Springboks bid to avenge their "Miracle of Brighton" defeat to Japan at the 2015 World Cup in Tokyo on Sunday.
Coach Rassie Erasmus named an identical 23 to their 49-3 victory over Italy earlier in the tournament, with a six-two forwards-backs split on the bench — indicating they will hit Japan with some heavy artillery up front.
Right wing Kolbe scored two tries when South Africa spanked Japan 41-7 in a warm-up match last month, when his counterpart on the left, Makazole Mapimpi, stole the show with a hat-trick.
Erasmus has made only three changes from that side with Tendai Mtawarira, Bongi Mbonambi and Lood de Jager coming in for Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx and Franco Mostert.
"Obviously, it's wasn't that easy because a lot of guys had put up their hands and played really well but we tried to get some continuity in the team," Erasmus said.
Mtawarira, de Jager and Pieter-Steph du Toit all started the famous game in 2015, when Japan won 34-32 to pull off the greatest shock in World Cup history.
However, Japan are no longer an unknown quantity after they stunned Ireland and Scotland en route to topping Pool A with four wins out of four to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.
South Africa (15-1)
Willie le Roux; Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (capt); Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth; Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Francois Louw, Herschel Jantjies, Francois Steyn
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Updated Date: Oct 17, 2019 12:58:21 IST