Rugby World Cup semifinals preview, latest team lists, predictions

Only four are left as the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan nears its pulsating finale. Defending champions New Zealand entered the tournament as favourites and have shown why in every game they have played so far. England will be their foe on Saturday, as they hope to make their first World Cup final since 2007.

Wales will take on a strong South Africa side that look to be growing in confidence as the tournament goes on. But the Welsh have proven that they are meant to be in the semifinals, showing quality and grit to see off Australia and France in earlier rounds.

This weekend provides a strong slate of world-class rugby.

Read ahead for team lists and previews.

Saturday Oct. 26, 2019

England vs. New Zealand, International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama (5 p.m. local, 6 p.m. AEST, 9 a.m. BST, 4 a.m. ET)

England: 15. Elliot Daly, 14. Anthony Watson, 13. Manu Tuilagi, 12. Owen Farrell, 11. Jonny May, 10. George Ford, 9. Ben Youngs, 8. Mako Vunipola, 7. Jamie George, 6. Kyle Sinckler, 5. Maro Itoje, 4. Courtney Lawes, 3. Tom Curry, 2. Sam Underhill, 1. Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17. Joe Marler, 18. Dan Cole, 19. George Kruis, 20. Mark Wilson, 21. Willi Heinz, 22. Henry Slade, 23. Jonathan Joseph.

New Zealand: 15. Beauden Barrett, 14. Sevu Reece, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. Anton Lienert-Brown, 11. George Bridge, 10. Richie Mo'unga, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Kieran Read, 7. Ardie Savea, 6. Scott Barrett, 5. Sam Whitelock, 4. Brodie Retallick, 3. Nepo Laulala, 2. Codie Taylor, 1. Joe Moody.

Replacements: 16. Dane Coles, 17. Ofa Tuungafasi, 18. Angus Ta'avao, 19. Patrick Tuipulotu, 20. Sam Cane, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Sonny Bill Williams, 23. Jordie Barrett.

Head-to-head record: England seven wins, New Zealand 33 wins, one draw

Verdict: The last time these two sides met in the Rugby World Cup semifinal, Jonah Lomu claimed his place as the sport's biggest star of his era, running through England bodies on the way to scoring four tries in a brutal 45-29 All Blacks victory.

New Zealand don't have a Lomu this time around, but their team is every bit as good. The All Blacks are two-time defending champions and have already scored 203 points at this year's tournament -- even though their final pool stage match was canceled due to Typhoon Hagibis. England have a lot of quality of their own, however, and will be New Zealand's toughest test in Japan so far.

Meanwhile, England's composed dismantling of Australia, who beat the All Blacks in the final tournament warm-up match -- it can be done -- will stand Eddie Jones' side in good stead -- as will the encouragement they can take from a narrow and controversial defeat by the All Blacks in their previous meeting in November at Twickenham. But New Zealand are tournament favourites for a reason, and they will likely prevail in this one.

Tip: New Zealand by six

Sunday Oct. 27, 2019

Wales vs. South Africa, International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama (5 p.m. local, 6 p.m. AEST, 9 a.m. BST, 5 a.m. ET)

Wales: 15. Leigh Halfpenny, 14. George North, 13. Jonathan Davies, 12. Hadleigh Parkes, 11. Josh Adams, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Gareth Davies, 8. Ross Moriarty, 7. Justin Tipuric, 6. Aaron Wainwright, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 4. Jake Ball, 3. Tom Francis, 2. Ken Owens, 1. Wyn Jones.

Replacements: 16. Elliot Dee, 17. Rhys Carre, 18. Dillon Lewis, 19. Adam Beard, 20. Aaron Shingler, 21. Tomos Williams, 22. Rhys Patchell, 23. Owen Watkin.

South Africa: 15. Willie le Roux, 14. Sbu Nkosi, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Lood de Jager, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. RG Snyman, 20. Franco Mostert, 21. Francois Louw, 22. Herschel Jantjies, 23. Frans Steyn.

Head-to-head record: Wales six wins, South Africa 28 wins, one draw

Verdict: Wales might be counting their lucky stars that they have made it this far in the tournament. Warren Gatland's side left it late when they edged out France in the quarterfinal after they looked to be heading home for much of the game.

Wales have yet to hit their highest gear in Japan, something they must do against South Africa on Sunday if they hope to reach their first World Cup final. But they have shown great spirit and grit so far and will look to do the same this time out.

South Africa had to do the unwanted job of knocking out everybody's second-favourite team, Japan, in the quarterfinals, but the way they did so showed their quality. The Springboks conceded just three points in a well-organised rout of the hosts. They'll have little chance of the doing the same on Sunday in what will likely be a nail-bitingly close game.

Tip: South Africa by three