England will play South Africa for a place in the 2023 Rugby Union World Cup Final after Steve Borthwick’s men bested Fiji and the Springboks ejected hosts France at the quarter-final stage.
Saturday’s Stade de France showdown has plenty to live up to after four back-to-back blockbuster last eight match-ups, but the sides have six days to recharge their batteries and are backed to deliver another big-scoring slugfest.
England vs South Africa predictions
Bet on the latest Rugby Union odds at Betzone
Improving England can push Saffers closer than their odds suggest
The second of the two World Cup semi-finals sees England take on South Africa for the first time since the Springboks’ 27-13 victory at Twickenham back in November 2022.
That defeat turned out to be the last act of Eddie Jones’ England managerial tenure, but things were to get worse with Steve Borthwick overseeing six defeats in his first nine matches as coach.
However, since the side arrived at the World Cup there can be little doubt that the English are improving, with one of the easier pool stages ideal for re-building their beleaguered confidence.
Against the Fijians, England were able to retain their composure even when the opposition squared the match at 24 apiece, before pulling away again to seal the deal.
The unerring penalty kicking and drop-goal opportunism of Owen Farrell were at play in making the difference there and will be key in keeping the 9/2 underdogs in the game.
Having only gone down by 14 points last time the sides clashed, this improved England side can certainly keep the Springboks honest. The sense is that they could improve again too.
England (+12.5) to beat South Africa @ 20/21
High-scoring knockout stage unlikely to abate in second semi-final
The knockout stages of this tournament have been superb for the neutrals thanks to hefty scoring in see-sawing encounters across the quarter-finals.
Argentina’s 29-17 win over Wales was by distance the lowest points total at 46, with the other three last eight clashes all serving up north of 50 points.
England contributed 30 in their win over Fiji, giving up 24, while the Springboks notched 29 in seeing off France by a single point.
The last time these sides met the 27-13 scoreline was only six points off landing the over 45.5 points bet and the pugilistic Parisian World Cup atmosphere is likely to be worth a few points extra this time around.
Add on a repeat of the indiscipline that saw the ‘Boks gift France four penalties in the quarters and this one should get over the line.
Over 45.5 total match points @ 21/20