Bismarck du Plessis (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis believes their experience will have an important influence on the team during the Rugby World Cup.
The Springboks named their most experienced team ever ahead of their tournament opener against Japan on Saturday.
With three centurions in the starting line-up - captain Jean de Villiers, wing Bryan Habana and lock Victor Matfield – The Boks boast a total of 880 Test caps.
Du Plessis, who has featured at two previous World Cups in 2007 and 2011, believes this experience will play an important role during the team’s journey.
“I learned a lot from previous World Cups. Looking back to my first Rugby World Cup in 2007, I was lucky that I had guys like Os du Randt and John Smit next to me,” Du Plessis explained from South Africa’s team base in England.
“I fed off them. I would ask what to expect during the tournament and what it feels like.
“You see, World Cups are different compared to the usual routine. Normally, you’d play three or four Tests during the season, then return to your franchise or club for Super Rugby or other competitions.
“At the World Cup, you need to play seven hard Tests in a short turnaround time if you want to win the tournament. After the pool stages, the pressure increases and spaces get tighter.
“This is where experience is vital. Knowing what to expect and preparing for those situations.”
Saturday’s clash at Brighton Community Stadium is scheduled for 17:45 (SA time).
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Fourie du Preez, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 JP Pietersen
15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Male Sau, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Kotaro Matsushima, 10 Kosei Ono, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Hendrik Tui, 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Hitoshi Ono, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami
Substitutes: 16 Takeshi Kazu, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Hiroshi Yamashita, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20. Amanaki Mafi, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Harumichi Tatekawa, 23 Karne Hesketh
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