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RWC19: Much anticipated Bokke vs All Blacks clash underway

The last time the sides met in a World Cup match - the All Blacks ran out 20-18 winners in the 2015 semi-final.

The Springboks at OR Tambo International Airport before they jet off to Japan for the Rugby World Cup on 30 August 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Springboks have begun their 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign on Saturday morning, where they take on New Zealand in Yokohama.

The last time the sides met in a World Cup match - the All Blacks ran out 20-18 winners in the 2015 semi-final.

For updates throughout the match, follow @EWN Sport on Twitter

BOKS PLAY TO HONOUR CHESTER WILLIAMS

The Springboks are to pay homage to late 1995 World Cup winner Chester Williams with his image printed on their jerseys for their tournament opener against New Zealand on Saturday.

"He is really inspirational to all of us as a team," captain Siya Kolisi said Friday of the star winger who died of a heart attack at the age of 49 earlier this month.

Williams was the only black player in the World Cup-winning side that defeated rivals New Zealand 15-12 after extra time in South Africa 24 years ago.

He died less than two months after the death of James Small, another winger in the champion side.

Kolisi, the first black player to captain the Springboks, said: "We look up to the team of 1995 because we feel like they changed things for us in South Africa. We will always respect them.

"It was an era that opened up doors for us. We really appreciate all of them, and with the passing of James Small, we had him on the back as well against Australia."

The 31-man Springbok World Cup squad has 11 black players, including Kolisi.

Current Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus, who played international rugby with Williams, said the jersey tribute was appropriate in a World Cup clash against fierce rivals New Zealand.

Additional reporting by AFP

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