South Africa vs Wales : South Africa will be without the electric Kolbe against Wales because of an ankle injury, which Erasmus admits is a “big blow”
2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final: Wales v South Africa
Venue: International Stadium, Yokohama Date: Sun, 27 Oct Kick-off: 09:00 GMT
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.
Wales stand on the brink of history as they prepare to face South Africa in Yokohama on Sunday, bidding to reach their first World Cup final with old rivals England lying in wait.
This will be Wales’ third semi-final and the second under head coach Warren Gatland, who will step down at the end of the tournament.
That will bring to an end a glittering 12-year tenure which has yielded four Six Nations titles – including three Grand Slams – and a first stint as the world’s number one-ranked side.
This is also likely to be a final World Cup for some Wales players such as captain Alun Wyn Jones, an inspirational leader who will join Italy’s Sergio Parisse as the second-most capped international of all time with 142 appearances, including nine for the British and Irish Lions.
Wales have been building up to this moment for years and, with many believing this is their best chance yet to win a World Cup, Gatland is urging his players to seize the moment.
“I have got two games to go as the Wales coach and I want to enjoy these last two games, and there are probably nine or 10 players who won’t be involved in another World Cup as well so they have got to relish that opportunity and be excited about this,” he said.
“You have got a chance to do something special in your life and these chances come along very rarely and you have got to grab them with both hands.
“When you want something bad enough and you really, really want it then it can happen.
“We have a group of players that really want to do a good performance on Sunday and hopefully get to the World Cup final.”
Standing in Wales’ way are a resurgent South Africa side, who pummelled their way past hosts Japan in the quarter-final.
Having slipped down the rankings in recent years, the two-time world champions seem to be on their way to reviving past glories since Rassie Erasmus was appointed head coach in 2018.
The former Munster boss has the enormous Springboks forwards back to their muscular best, while the likes of scrum-half Faf de Klerk and wing Cheslin Kolbe have provided the stardust to help their side claim notable results such as last year’s series win over England and a draw in New Zealand during this summer’s Rugby Championship.