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New Zealand vs South Africa, Rugby World Cup 2019: What time is kick-off today, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?

Jake Goodwill
Beauden Barrett's starting position remains unclear ahead of the All Black's World Cup opener - AFP

What is it?

New Zealand vs South Africa in the Rugby World Cup. New Zealand's attempt to win a third successive World Cup begins against a Springbok side on the rise. Other teams in pool B include Canada, Italy and Namibia.

When is it?

Saturday, September 21 - ie this morning. It will be played in Yokohama at the International Stadium Yokohama

What time is kick-off?

Kick-off for this game is at 10.45am BST, 6.45pm in Japan.

What TV channel is it on?

This one will be broadcast on ITV, with the replays and a live stream available on the ITV Hub. Alternatively, you can follow all the action here with Telegraph Sport.

What is the latest squad news?

New Zealand

Beauden Barrett will start at full-back for New Zealand's crunch Rugby World Cup opener against South Africa in Yokohama on Saturday.

The 28-year-old slots into the 15 shirt to accommodate attacking playmaker Richie Mo'unga at fly-half, with stellar full-back Ben Smith taking a seat on the bench.

Ryan Crotty starts at inside centre with the back-to-back world champion All Blacks boasting three hugely-talented playmakers in their starting backline.

Starting XV: B Barrett  (Blues), S Reece, A Lienert-Brown, R Crotty, G Bridge, R Mo'unga (all  Crusaders), A Smith (Highlanders), J Moody (Crusaders), D Coles (Hurricanes), N  Laulala, S Whitelock, S Barrett (all Crusaders), A Savea (Hurricanes), S Cane  (Chiefs), K Read (Crusaders, capt). Replacements: C Taylor (Crusaders), O  Tuungafasi (Blues), A Ta'avao (Chiefs), P Tuipulotu (Blues), S Frizell  (Highlanders), TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), SB Williams (Blues), B Smith  (Highlanders). 

South Africa

 

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus made just one change from the starting side that drew with New Zealand in July when he named his team for Saturday's crunch Rugby World Cup clash with the world champions in Yokohama.

Siya Kolisi, who missed the 16-16 Wellington draw because of injury, will captain the side at openside flanker in place of Kwagga Smith to make up an imposing back row with number eight Duane Vermeulen and blindside Pieter Steph du Toit.

Otherwise, Erasmus has stuck with the side that last played the All Blacks for a match that is likely to decide who wins Pool B and enjoys the potentially relatively easier path through to the final.

The matchday squad was identical to the one Erasmus put out for the 41-7 victory over Japan in Kumagaya this month that kept the Springboks unbeaten this year.

South Africa - 15-Willie le Roux, 14-Cheslin Kolbe, 13-Lukhanyo Am, 12-Damian de Allende, 11-Makazole Mapimpi, 10-Handre Pollard, 9-Faf de Klerk, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Pieter Steph du Toit, 6-Siya Kolisi (captain), 5-Franco Mostert, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Frans Malherbe, 2-Malcom Marx, 1-Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16-Bongi Mbonambi, 17-Tendai Mtawarira, 18-Trevor Nyakane, 19-RG Snyman, 20-Francois Louw, 21-Herschel Jantjies, 22-Frans Steyn, 23-Jesse Krie

What is their head-to-head record?

New Zealand have won 58 of the 98 matches between the two sides. The last three fixtures between the teams have resulted in one win per side and a draw, with an identical aggregate score across the three games.

What are they saying?

South Africa's Rassie Erasmus:

"We’ve found some consistency and some momentum in a number of ways this season and one of them is in selection," Erasmus said.

"We have 31 players in the squad, any of whom I would be happy to select ... but this is a line-up that has worked well as a starting combination and one with real momentum to come from the bench.

"We’re continuing to develop and new players are always pushing a claim but we’ve prepared well and we’re looking forward to what will be another extremely close match."

What are the betting odds?

  • New Zealand to win: 4/9
  • Draw: 25/1
  • South Africa to win: 2/1

Read our guide on betting tips and latest odds.

What is our prediction?

A close game that could well be repeated in the World Cup Final. New Zealand to edge it.

Predicted Score: New Zealand 21 South Africa 18

Read our expert's predictions for the tournament.