With the final week off, the Springboks will be determined to provide as comfortable a weekend as possible by securing a bonus-point win in Marseille.
Scotland and Ireland face off during their rest week, meaning a poor display here could make for a very nervy watch when the World Cup completes its opening round.
South Africa were beaten by the Irish in a thriller last time out, with questions over the defending champions’ kicking from the tee as Manie Libbok and Faf de Klerk left several points on the field.
Tonga managed to put points on the board against both Scotland and Ireland but are on the brink of elimination following two defeats.
Date, kick-off time and venue
South Africa vs Tonga takes place on Sunday October 1, 2023, with kick-off scheduled for 8pm BST.
The game will be hosted at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.
Where to watch South Africa vs Tonga
TV channel: In the UK, South Africa vs Tonga will be shown live on free-to-air channel ITV1, with coverage starting at 7:15pm.
Live stream: The game is also available to watch for free online via the ITV website and ITVX app.
Live blog: Follow all the action on Sunday night with Standard Sport’s live match blog.
South Africa vs Tonga team news
South Africa show 12 changes from the side that were bested by Ireland in a hugely physical encounter in Paris, with only captain Siya Kolisi, lock Eben Etzebeth and No 8 Jasper Wiese retaining their starting berths.
Handre Pollard is parachuted in to bolster the Boks’ dreadful goal-kicking, at No10 in place of Libbok having only been called up to the squad last week as a replacement for injured hooker Malcolm Marx.
Pollard had missed out on selection for Jacques Nienaber’s original World Cup squad after being sidelined with a calf injury.
South Africa vs Tonga lineups
South Africa XV: Le Roux; Williams, Moodie, Esterhuizen, Mapimpi; Pollard, Reinach; Nche, Fourie, Koch; Etzebeth, Orie; Kolisi (c), Vermeulen, Wiese
Replacements: Van Staden, Kitshoff, Nyakane, Mostert, Smith, Hendrikse, Kriel, Libbok
Tonga XV: TBC
South Africa vs Tonga referee
Luke Pearce will referee the match along with fellow English officials Matthew Carley and Christophe Ridley. Australia’s Brett Cronan is on TMO duty.
South Africa vs Tonga prediction
The Springboks need a solid performance to round off their pool stage by bolstering their points difference to assure their place in the quarter-finals.
South Africa to win, with a bonus point.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
The two teams have only met twice, in 1997 and 2007, with the Boks victorious on both occasions.
South Africa wins: 2
Tonga wins: 0
South Africa vs Tonga latest odds
South Africa to win: 1/200
Tonga to win: 50/1
Odds via Befair (subject to change).