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

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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More AP Rugby World Cup: https://www.apnews.com/RugbyWorldCup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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