Schalk Burger and Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Durban - South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer on Tuesday said he was confident all 31 Rugby World Cup squad players would be available for their opening match against Japan this month.
The Springboks' build-up to the September 18-October 31 global rugby showpiece in England has been plagued by injuries of varying seriousness to numerous players
"We are confident all the players will be fit and available to play in our opening match against Japan in Brighton," Meyer said.
Those recovering from lengthy injuries include scrumhalf Fourie du Preez (knee) and No 8 Duane Vermeulen (neck), who are considered key first choices.
To the delight of Meyer, Du Preez and Vermeulen trained in Durban this week with the rest of the squad.
Lock Eben Etzebeth felt a calf discomfort during training, but team doctor Craig Roberts predicted the huge young forward would be ready for the World Cup.
Training in Durban concludes on Wednesday, resumes in Johannesburg next Monday, and the team fly to England on September 11.
Samoa, Scotland and the United States are the other Pool B opponents of two-time world champions South Africa.