Japan and the Springboks will face each other again this Friday in a final warm-up match before rugby showpieces start on the 20th September.

The only other time these two teams met before was on 19th September 2015 in the World Cup. This was a day that would always been cemented in Japan and South African’s memory.

The day Japan cause most properly the biggest upset in world sport beating the two time World Champions 34-32.

This time Erasmus is promising there will be no sequel to that movie as the Springboks set their sights to challenge for the trophy.

Coach Jamie Joseph have included South African born Lappies Labuschagne in his starting XV. Labuschagne has been playing in Japan for the Sunwolves and Kubota Spears but will face his country men on the international stage.

Jospeh also included controversial Amanaki Mafi at 8 and captain Michael Leitch on the side of the scrum.

As Springbok coach Erasmus, Jospeh said he selected his strongest possible side for this test match.

He believes that this test will show them exactly where they are going into their home tournament.

‘I’ve faced a lot of questions about if I think it’s a risky game before the World Cup, but unless we play the best teams, we’ll never get a true measure of where we are,’ Jospeh said.

Siya Kolisi is back to lead his country on Friday for the first time this year. After coming of a good 50 odd minutes against Argentina Kolisi is fit to lead the Springboks challenge in Japan.

The captain is also the only change from the side who drew against the All Blacks in Wellington.

This is Erasmus strongest combination at the moment and he will need his players to put all that training into this game now.

We can expect that this will be a test that the Springboks will concentrate on doing the basics right.

They will have to be careful though, Japan has been saying all along that they will play a fast game spreading the ball.

First things first, the Springboks have to dominate upfront and win the set pieces. If they can dominate this aspect of the game they will take the Japanese right out of the test match.

Defence will be crucial as well against a Japanese side that wants to score tries.

With Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn and Jesse Kriel on the bench, Erasmus have some quality to make an impact later in the game.

Replacements will play a huge role in this World Cup.

Predictions: Springboks to win by 10+


Japan: 15 William Tupou, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Michael Leitch (c), 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Koo Ji-won, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Keita Inagaki.

Replacements: 16 Takuya Kitade, 17 Isileli Nakajima, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 James Moore, 20 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ataata Moeakiola.

Springboks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel.


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  1. Boks need to have plans for playing against underdogs like this where the longer they stay in the fight the more the crowd will get behind them.

    Boks got to try be ruthless. If they can put 2 or 3 tries past them in first 20 mins – it’s all over.

    I think boks need to try lay down a big score for this one. Drill the Japanese. Don’t just try force the final pass to go wide, but be clinical and big intensity from get go.

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