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South Africa, England set to meet in Rugby World Cup final

November 2, 2019
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Japan's former emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko waves during the Rugby World Cup bronze final game at Tokyo Stadium between New Zealand and Wales in Tokyo, Japan, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila )
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Japan's former emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko waves during the Rugby World Cup bronze final game at Tokyo Stadium between New Zealand and Wales in Tokyo, Japan, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila )

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — On the 44th day, there was the Rugby World Cup final.

The tournament that kicked off on Sept. 20 with host Japan beating Russia will conclude Saturday with two-time champion South Africa against England.

The Springboks are hoping to continue a sequence of winning the Webb Ellis Cup every dozen years. They beat New Zealand in 1995 at home and had a 15-6 win over England in Paris in 2007.

England’s 2003 win — in extra time against Australia — is the northern hemisphere’s only Rugby World Cup title to date. Eddie Jones’ England team has had to beat two-time champion Australia in the quarterfinals and three-time champion New Zealand just to make the championship match.

Siya Kolisi, the first black player appointed as Springboks captain, is aiming for a piece of history.

Japan’s former Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the third-place playoff Friday night when New Zealand beat Wales 40-17.

Prince Harry will represent Britain’s royal family at the final.

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