Tokyo - The size and physicality of South Africa's fearsome forward pack has rugby World Cup opponents Japan running for the wings.
Brave Blossoms coach Eddie Jones said he is using the ongoing Asian Rugby Championship to hone his side's fast-paced play as to avoid an arm wrestle with the Springboks when they square off in their tournament opener on Sept. 19 in England.
"South Africa have the biggest pack in the world," the former Springbok assistant coach was quoted as saying by Kyodo on Friday.
"If they and Japan were boxers and they got in the ring, the fight would be called before it even started because you can't have such a massive weight and height difference.
"There's no sense fronting up to them. You need to move about and jab in and out."
Japan won their opening match of the three-team Asian championships, formally the Asian Five Nations, 56-30 in South Korea two weeks ago.
They face Hong Kong at home on Saturday knowing they have a sizeable weight advantage in the forwards but Jones was not interested in attacking through the pack with the World Cup in mind.
"We want to vary the attack, make sure we play away from the set piece and play with energy," said the Australian, who will coach Japan's new franchise against South African opposition in Super Rugby next season.
Japan are eyeing a first win at the World Cup since beating Zimbabwe in 1991. They are unlikely to get it against twice champions South Africa but will be more hopeful in other Pool B matches against Samoa, Scotland and the United States.