South Africa win the 2019 Rugby World Cup – As it happened

The Springboks were 32-12 winners against England.

South Africa were convincing winners against England
South Africa were convincing winners against England
  • South Africa win World Cup for record-equalling third time, beating England 32-12.
  • Springboks led 12-6 at half-time in Yokohama.
  • Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe touched down in the second half.


It was not to be for England this time around and it remains to be seen what the future holds for coach Eddie Jones, who side-stepped questions about whether he would continue in the role.

But this is now South Africa’s day and nobody could begrudge them victory after a fantastic final performance.

See you in France in 2023…

South Africa are world champions for a third time
South Africa are world champions for a third time (Adam Davy/PA)

11.47 Royal recognition


The Springboks – the first team to win the tournament having lost a pool match – are now level with New Zealand for number of World Cup victories.

Rugby World Cup
(PA Graphics)

11.40 Eddie Jones says South Africa are ‘worthy winners’

“We just struggled to get on the front foot,” he told ITV. “They were very aggressive around the ruck, in the breakdown and obviously they had dominance in the scrum.

“It wasn’t until late in the first half that we got any parity in the scrum and it’s hard playing off back-foot ball.

“South Africa are worthy winners of the World Cup. We weren’t quite good enough today but I can’t fault the effort of my players. They’ve been outstanding throughout the World Cup and played with a lot of pride and passion.”

Jones refused to discuss his own future and, when asked about reports England’s bus to the stadium was late, said: “We don’t have any excuses”.

Eddie Jones had to settle for second place at the World Cup
Eddie Jones had to settle for second place at the World Cup (David Davies/PA)

11.31 Jonny Wilkinson offers his assessment

England’s hero of 2003 says the Springboks had a huge emotional attachment to the game which helped snuff out Eddie Jones’ team.

“Last week the guys played a great semi-final, this week things aligned differently and England needed a different kind of performance and they just couldn’t quite find it,” Wilkinson said on ITV.

“I agree the set piece was hugely important but what can’t be over-estimated as well was the South Africa defence and their strength over the ball. They were stealing ball and their physical one-on-one collisions meant that England just couldn’t get moving.

“I think they had a huge emotional attachment to the game in terms of what it meant for them. They a very different team to the one that beat the Welsh.”

11.30 The trophy moment

Here is the moment Springboks skipper Kolisi lifted the Webb Ellis Cup, becoming the first black South African to do so as captain.


??? World Cup trophy number 3 in the bag
?‍♂️ Monumental effort
? Power and dominance by the pack
? Deadly goal kicking by Handre Pollard
? Tries by the speedsters#StrongerTogether #RWC2019 #ENGvRSA #RWCFinal #WebbEllisCup #RWCYokohama

— Springboks (@Springboks) November 2, 2019

11.25 Emotional response from Springboks captain Siya Kolisi


Sir Clive Woodward, coach of England’s 2003 World Cup winners, said South Africa’s domination at the scrum was crucial to the outcome.

“No doubt the better team won,” he said. “At this level of rugby, if you can’t scrum properly, if you’re going to give five or six penalties at your scrum against a team like this, you’re always going to come second.

“England will be bitterly disappointed to go down 32-12 in a World Cup final. They just couldn’t fire a shot because we couldn’t get first-phase ball.”


Former Springbok winger Bryan Habana hopes the World Cup victory will inspire a new generation of players to take up the game.

“It is absolutely phenomenal,” Habana said on ITV. “No one expected as commanding a victory.

“I think they won almost every big play, with their ability to do it up front, but some of the tries we saw were absolutely phenomenal.

“I’d love to see the scenes back home because this can be a catalyst.”

11.20 Prime minister reacts


England are being presented with their runners-up medals before joyous South Africa collect the trophy.

South Africa celebrate winning the World Cup
South Africa celebrate winning the World Cup (Adam Davy/PA)


There scenes of dejection across the country as England’s fate became clear in the latter stages of the second half.

These fans were watching in St Albans
These fans were watching in St Albans (Andrew Matthews/PA)
There was disappointment at Sale Rugby Club, too
There was disappointment at Sale Rugby Club, too (Ian Hodgson/PA)
These fans were at the Merchants Inn in Rugby
These fans were at the Merchant’s Inn in Rugby (Jacob King/PA)


Speaking to ITV, England fly-half George Ford said: “We were massively inaccurate in the first half when we had the ball, couldn’t build any pressure.

“South Africa got us into that game, which their very good at.

“Very disappointing from us and it’s a hard one to take.”

George Ford bemoaned England's first-half display
George Ford bemoaned England’s first-half display (Adam Davy/PA)

11.00 Former players react


FULL-TIME: England 12 South Africa 32

It’s all over and South Africa are world champions!

What a story for the Springboks, who have had a bumpy ride since the 2015 tournament but have answered their doubters with their performance in Japan, capped by a superb final display.

TRY – 74 mins: England 12 South Africa 32

And that should be that!

The Springboks pounce after Henry Slade knocks on in the tackle, with Cheslin Kolbe escaping the clutches of Farrell to dart down the right flank and touch down. Pollard is on target from the tee again to stretch the lead to 20 points.

This has been a fantastic performance from South Africa.

70 mins: England 12 South Africa 25

Fresh legs for England as Jonathan Joseph comes on in place of Jonny May.

TRY – 67 mins: England 12 South Africa 25

Could that be decisive?

A final that threatened to be decided by the boots of Farrell and Pollard has its first try.

Mapimpi’s chip is chased down by Lukhanyo Am, who returns the ball back outside to the winger to dot down.

Suspicions of a forward pass or Am being in an offside position are dismissed by the TMO, and Pollard adds the extras.

63 mins: England 12 South Africa 18

An ill-judged barge by Anthony Watson on Makazole Mapimpi off the ball gives Pollard a shot at the posts from his own half.

The fly-half’s ambitious strike gets nowhere near its intended target, however.

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi has left the field to be replaced by Francois Louw.

60 mins: England 12 South Africa 18

England win a penalty from the restart to pull back within six points thanks to another Farrell effort, while both sides bring some fresh faces off the bench.

Luke Cowan-Dickie and Mark Wilson are on for England, while South Africa have introduced RG Snyman.

58 mins: England 9 South Africa 18

That disappointment is compounded when the Springboks are awarded a penalty at the other end after England play the ball on the ground at a ruck.

Pollard adds three points from in front of the posts.

55 mins: England 9 South Africa 15

South Africa are penalised for not releasing, gifting Farrell another shot at the posts from almost exactly the same position as the one from where he reduced the deficit three minutes earlier.

But his effort drifts just wide of the right-hand upright on this occasion – his first miss of the match.

52 mins: England 9 South Africa 15

Joe Marler is on for Mako Vunipola and England finally get the better of the scrum.

England are awarded a penalty and Farrell makes no mistake. If they have solve the scrum conundrum, we could be in for a fascinating finish.

Owen Farrell's kicking is keeping England in touch
Owen Farrell’s kicking is keeping England in touch (David Davies/PA)

46 mins: England 6 South Africa 15

South Africa take an opportunity to refresh their own pack with the introduction of Vincent Koch and Steven Kitshoff in place of Tendai Mtawarira and Frans Malherbe, and their first contribution is to completely dominate England in the scrum, winning a penalty that Pollard steers between the posts.

This is the scoreline by which the Springboks beat England in the 2007 final.

41 mins: England 6 South Africa 12

Pleasing to see Sinckler take his place on the bench following his head injury in the opening minutes of this match. Not that he looks particularly pleased to have had his final ended so early!

SECOND HALF: England 6 South Africa 12

Change for England at the break as George Kruis comes on for Courtney Lawes to add more power to the pack.

HALF-TIME: England 6 South Africa 12

No team has ever come from behind at half-time to win a World Cup final – a grim stat for anybody hoping for an England turnaround.

England are being dominated in the scrum and that will be one of the key areas Jones will look to address in the changing room during the break.

It has been a difficult watch for fans at Sale Rugby Club
It has been a difficult watch for fans at Sale Rugby Club (Ian Hodgson/PA)
Those feelings of tension are replicated at Old Albanian RFC in St Albans
Those feelings of tension are replicated at Old Albanian RFC in St Albans (Andrew Matthews/PA)

40+3 mins: England 6 South Africa 12

England concede another penalty at the scrum – their third of the match – and Pollard is on target again to send the Springboks in at half-time with a 12-6 lead.

39 mins: England 6 South Africa 9

Again parity is short-lived.

England come under pressure from the restart before conceding a penalty for not releasing.

Pollard makes it 9-6 with his toughest kick of the day from 50 metres.

35 mins: England 6 South Africa 6

Impressive defending on the line from the Springboks as they hold firm against an England side who are hammering on the door.

Spreading the ball wide fails to create an opening for England, but – following a period of play that featured more than 25 phases without finding a way through – they come back for a penalty and Farrell stays perfect from the tee.

29 mins: England 3 South Africa 6

The mistakes keep coming for England, as George Ford sends a kick out on the full from midfield.

More concern for South Africa however, with Eben Etzebeth requiring ice on his shoulder. The second rower is able to carry on.

26 mins: England 3 South Africa 6

England fluff their lines at the restart, with Maro Itoje lifted too early and Tom Curry knocking on.

Pollard re-establishes the South African advantage from a penalty conceded by Cole in the scrum.

Handre Pollard was successful with two of his first three attempts
Handre Pollard was successful with two of his first three attempts (David Davies/PA)

23 mins: England 3 South Africa 3

The Springboks now have injury concerns of their own, with Bongi Mbonambi forced off for a head injury assessment and Lood De Jager leaving the field with a shoulder injury.

Malcolm Marx and Franco Mostert are on in their place.

22 mins: England 3 South Africa 3

England have a lineout deep in South African territory and, after working through the phases against a determined and strong Springbok defence, they win a penalty just inside the 22.

Farrell successfully splits the posts to pull England level.

16 mins: England 0 South Africa 3

England lose possession from their own lineout and the Springboks are dominating the scrum so far.

Jones’ side yet to really get going in this match.

13 mins: England 0 South Africa 3

9 mins: England 0 South Africa 3

The Springboks have started strongly, that Pollard miss aside, and the fly-half has another chance to open the scoring in front of the posts.

Pollard makes no mistake on this occasion.

Handre Pollard gave South Africa the lead
Handre Pollard gave South Africa the lead (Ashley Western/PA)

4 mins: England 0 South Africa 0

Sinckler recovers enough to walk off the pitch, but Cole has now joined the action in what is expected to be a permanent change.

Kyle Sinckler was forced off early in the final
Kyle Sinckler was forced off early in the final (Adam Davy/PA)

3 mins: England 0 South Africa 0

Moment of concern for England as Kyle Sinckler gets knocked out in attempting to make a tackle. The prop is down receiving lengthy treatment and it seems unlikely that he will rejoin the action. Dan Cole is warming up.

Kick-off: England 0 South Africa 0

It takes less than 30 seconds for England fans to launch into a rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, but they are left breathing a huge sigh of relief when Handre Pollard skews his first effort from the tee wide of the right-hand upright after Jones’ men were penalised for not rolling away.



We’re on the final countdown to kick-off.

The teams emerge from the tunnel, catching a glimpse of the Webb Ellis Cup as they do so.

The teams, and 72,000 spectators, will now observe a moment’s silence in memory of those who lost their lives in Typhoon Hagibis, before we hear the anthems.



South Africa have just completed their warm-up and retreated to their changing room. Here’s how their coach Rassie Erasmus is feeling.


Here are Eddie Jones’ thoughts with kick-off only 15 minutes away.


England have received a message of good luck from prime minister Boris Johnson ahead of the final

08.25 Team news

Eddie Jones has predictably retained the side that destroyed the All Blacks last weekend as England look to emulate the Jonny Wilkinson-inspired class of 2003.

South Africa, twice World Cup winners, welcome back star wing Cheslin Kolbe after he missed the semi-final victory over Wales due to an ankle injury.



This is where we expect to see the key battles in this final.

(PA Graphics)


Captain Owen Farrell expects his England team-mates to seize their opportunity to realise their boyhood dreams today.

He said: “Everybody wants to be involved in this game and there are probably a lot of people who grew up wanting to be involved in this.

“Now this opportunity has come around, you want to enjoy it, you want to go for it.

“You don’t want to dip your toe in and see what happens, you want to throw all of yourself into it and that’s the way that we’ll look to go about it.”

Owen Farrell captains England
Owen Farrell captains England (Adam Davy/PA)

08.00 The big day has arrived

After six weeks of action and 44 matches, the time has come to crown the winners of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. England were mightily impressive in beating New Zealand 19-7 in their semi-final but will need to be at the top of their game once more to overcome a powerful South Africa side who eliminated Wales. The prize for England is a second World Cup triumph – their last, of course, having come in 2003. The Springboks, meanwhile, are chasing their third.

Fans are arriving at the International Stadium in Yokohama for what should be a fantastic occasion. Kick-off is an hour away.

England fans are in good spirits ahead of the match
England fans are in good spirits ahead of the match (David Davies/PA)

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