England v South Africa: Cheslin Kolbe set to return for World Cup final

Cheslin Kolbe
Cheslin Kolbe has scored two tries at the 2019 Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup final: England v South Africa
Venue: Yokohama International Stadium Date: Saturday, 2 November Kick-off: 09:00 GMT
Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

South Africa head coach Ressie Erasmus expects winger Cheslin Kolbe to be available for Saturday's World Cup final against England.

Kolbe, who has been described as an "X-factor player" by England full-back Elliot Daly, missed the semi-final win over Wales with an ankle injury.

But Erasmus said on Tuesday: "We are lucky enough to have all 31 players available and ready to train.

"It will probably be exactly the same 23, with Cheslin Kolbe coming back in."

Two-time winners South Africa have faced some criticism for their direct style of play and tactical kicking at the tournament in Japan, and Erasmus has already said the Springboks will "grind it out" against England in Tokyo on Saturday (09:00 GMT kick-off).

"You have to have some building blocks in place," he added on Tuesday.

"We have followed a certain route - according to the stats and the way the game is being refereed currently - and what it gives you is short-term results on the scoreboard.

"We certainly accept that there are some things in our game that we need to improve, and we take that on the chin.

"But we have put ourselves in a position to win the World Cup, which is where we want to be."

England wary of 'X-factor'

If he does return to their side, England full-back Daly expects South Africa to give Kolbe - who has scored seven tries in 13 Tests, including two at this World Cup, "as much of the ball as possible".

"He is one of their X-factor players," said Daly, who has faced the 26-year-old Toulouse winger at club level with former side Wasps.

"I have played against him a couple of times in Europe. He is a good player with very good feet.

"I don't think it will change their structure too much, but they will probably just try to give him the ball in space a bit more."

England defence coach John Mitchell became aware of the "fabulous" Kolbe while working in South Africa.

"He is well watched by a lot of fans because every time he touches the ball, he's exciting," said Mitchell.

Top Stories