The same 23 players that defeated Japan in Kumagaya recently, will run out again this weekend, in what will be the fifth RWC match between South Africa and New Zealand.
“We’ve found some consistency and some momentum in a number of ways this season,” said Erasmus. “And one of them is in selection.
“We have 31 players in the squad, any of whom I would be happy to select – as well as standby players back home – but this is a line-up that has worked well as a starting combination and one with real momentum to come from the bench.
“They have emerged together over the past 18 months as our game has developed and matured.
“We’re continuing to develop and new players are always pushing a claim but we’ve prepared well and we’re looking forward to what will be another extremely close match.”
Duane Vermeulen, who made his debut in 2012, will win his 50th cap. There are six other half-centurions in the team - Willie le Roux, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth are all starting, while Tendai Mtawarira, Francois Louw and Frans Steyn are on the bench.
“We have got good experience and leaders through the team – including four players who have captained the team at one time or another and three others who have captained their franchises – as well as some talented, relative newcomers for a good balance I believe,” said Erasmus, who also pointed to the small margins between the teams in recent years.
“Our last three matches have ended in stalemate, one win each and a draw, for an aggregate score of 82-82,” said Erasmus.
“You couldn’t say there is a favourite. I think we have a healthy respect for each other’s capabilities but it will come down to a small moment to decide a big game in the end, I suppose.
“Our job is to focus on executing our plan and our skills to the best of our ability and hope that that is enough to overcome a New Zealand team that will be doing exactly the same.”