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World News

How to watch the 2023 Rugby World Cup final tonight

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What’s the latest news from the team?

New Zealand

New Zealand tweaked their squad for Saturday’s final against South Africa with just one change, but resisted any temptation to strengthen their bench to compensate for the heavy list of substitutes named by the Springboks on Thursday.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster has changed his lockdown combination again, with Brodie Retallick restored to the lineup and Sam Whitelock returning to the substitutes list in the only change to the starting team.

New Zealand believe Whitelock, 35, playing in his third World Cup final, is most effective coming off the bench and could provide an injection of energy at a time when South Africa are refreshing their attackers.

Retallick and Scott Barrett started against Ireland in the quarter-final and Barrett and Whitelock were the key combination in last week’s semi-final success against Argentina.

Among the substitutes, prop Nepo Lualua replaces Fletcher Newell, adding more size, but the All Blacks maintain a 5-3 split between forwards and backs on the substitutes’ bench.

New Zealand XV: Beauden Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Mark Telea, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (captain), Shannon Frizell, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Tyrel Lomax, Codie Taylor, Ethan de Groot .
Substitutes: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Tamaiti Williams, Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Dalton Papalii, Finlay Christie, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown.

South Africa

Handre Pollard will start at opener against New Zealand, with the Springboks springing a surprise by announcing a 7-1 split between forwards and backs on the bench.

Pollard replaces Manie Libbok at 10th while Faf de Klerk comes in at scrum-half in two changes from the side that started the narrow 16-15 semi-final win over England last Saturday.

Pollard, 29, was brought on for Libbok 30 minutes into the semi-final in one of several drastic substitutions made by the Boks coaches to try to recover in a match dominated by England.

In the end, Pollard once again proved the match winner by scoring a 48-yard penalty to give South Africa a place in the final.

South African coach Jacques Nienaber surprised with the choice of his replacements, with seven forwards and just one back for the third time in the last two months.

This means South Africa are banking on new forward power to win the match, but risk not having cover in the event of an injury among the backs.

Saturday’s final is the last for Nienaber, 51, who will move to the Irish province of Leinster after the tournament.

Bongi Mbonambi is ready to play tonight after World Rugby found no sufficient evidence to pursue Tom Curry’s allegations that he was racially abused by the Springboks hooker during the England defeat. England in the semi-final.

The game’s global governing body announced this week that it had closed the case unless further evidence was revealed.

Curry alleged to referee Ben O’Keeffe during the second quarter of the clash at the Stade de France that he had been called a “white c—” by Mbonambi.

South Africa XV: Willemse; Arendse, Kriel, De Allende, Kolbe; Pollard, De Klerk; Kitshoff, Mbonambi, Malherbe, Etzebeth, Mostert, Kolisi (captain), Du Toit, Vermeulen.
Substitutes: Fourie, Nche, Nyakane, Kleyn, Snyman, Smith, Wiese, Le Roux.

How can I get tickets?

Tickets for this match are only available for resale and can be purchased via the official Rugby World Cup ticket portal.

How can I watch the Rugby World Cup final?

It will be broadcast exclusively on free-to-air television by ITV 1.

Who won the last Rugby World Cup final?

In 2019, South Africa beat England 32-12 in the final in Yokohama, Japan. This is the country’s third World Cup success, the previous two dating back to 2007 and 1995.

  • 2019: South Africa 32 England 12
  • 2015 : New Zealand 34 Australia 17
  • 2011: New Zealand 8 France 7
  • 2007: South Africa 15 England 6
  • 2003: England 20 Australia 17
  • 1999: Australia 35 France 12
  • 1995: South Africa 15 New Zealand 12
  • 1991: Australia 12 England 6
  • 1987: New Zealand 29 France 9

Latest odds

  • New Zealand: 4/5
  • South Africa: 6/5

The odds are correct as of October 28.

Got a punt? Take a look at these first Rugby World Cup free bets and betting offers.


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