South Africa v Canada: Full-back Damian Willemse among 13 changes for Springboks

Damian Willemse
Damian Willemse has made five appearances for South Africa
2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B
Venue: Kobe Dates: Tuesday, 6 October Kick-off: 11:15 BST
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and BBC Sounds, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

Damian Willemse will start for South Africa against Canada on Tuesday - less than a week after arriving in Japan as a late injury replacement.

Full-back Willemse, who arrived on Thursday to replace Jesse Kriel, is one of 13 changes made by coach Rassie Erasmus for the World Cup Pool B match.

South Africa have a four-day turnaround after beating Italy 49-3 on Friday.

Only Springboks captain Siya Kolisi and centre Damian de Allende have retained their places.

Erasmus says Willemse, who had a recent stint with Saracens, "would have probably made the World Cup squad if he wasn't injured".

Willemse, 21, added: "I'm really excited to play. I've been out for three months. I've got that hunger and it's been good to get some game time for Sarries."

Meanwhile, Canada full-back Andrew Coe, their only player to have scored a try in Japan, will make his first World Cup start.

The 23-year-old scored after coming on for the last 18 minutes of the 48-7 defeat by Italy.

Coe is one of six changes to the Canadian side, including a first tournament appearance for lock Kyle Baillie, who suffered a leg injury in their warm-up match against the United States on 7 September.

Pool B standings: 1st New Zealand, 2nd South Africa, 3rd Italy, 4th Canada, 5th Namibia

A bonus-point victory over Canada will guarantee South Africa a place in the quarter-finals, unless Italy stun New Zealand in their final pool match.

The Springboks lost their opening game of the tournament to the All Blacks, but have since beaten Namibia and Italy.

"This match is just as important as the three that we have already played," said Erasmus.

"It has the same number of log points available and the same impact on our chances of qualifying. We have to now complete the job.

"If you look at the phases Canada produced against Italy [in a 48-7 defeat] and how they botched a few tries -they could've scored four or five really good tries.

"I've played against them and this team I've picked will know they are in for a physical battle."

South Africa: Willemse, Gelant, De Allende, Steyn, Nkosi; Jantjies, Reinach; T Du Toit, Brits, Koch, Snyman, Mostert, Kolisi (capt), Smith, Louw.

Replacements: Marx, Kitshoff, Malherbe, Ebtzebeth, P Du Toit, Jantjies, Pollard, Le Roux.

Canada: Coe; Hassler, Trainor, Hearn, Van der Merwe; Nelson, Mack; Buydens, Quattrin, Ilnicki, Olmstead, Baillie, Rumball, Heaton, Ardron (capt).

Replacements: Piffero, Sears-Duru, Tierney, Larsen, Sheppard, Mackenzie, O'Leary, Du Toit

Graphic advertising that BBC Radio 5 Live will have live commentary of every match at the Rugby World Cup

Top Stories