Cape Town - The Springboks stepped up their Rugby World Cup preparations with an intense training session in sweltering conditions at the Shiranami Stadium in Kagoshima on Monday.

According to the Springboks' official website, more than 6 000 Kagoshima locals turned up to watch the Boks train.

After a travel day on Saturday, the Boks enjoyed an off day on Sunday before getting back to business on Monday.

They defeated Japan 41-7 in a warm-up match in Saitama last Friday.

The team's Head of Athletic Performance, Aled Walters, turned up the heat with a morning gym session to precede the afternoon's sapping effort.

The Boks were the first of the visiting World Cup teams to touch down in Japan and coach Rassie Erasmus said it was to properly acclimatise to the hot and humid conditions.

Erasmus also explained why the Boks chose Kagoshima as their base this week: "We visited quite a few sites to see which was the best opportunity for us, and Kagoshima was the best. Everything is top notch, the hotel, the food and the training facility so we’re very happy here and that’s given us a good chance to do well in the World Cup.

"We also chose it because the extreme conditions of the heat makes sure the body is well conditioned so that when we get to the match it's easier. It was part of the thinking in planning to put the guys in some extreme conditions so that when it comes to the match they would be well prepared."

The Springboks will have three more full training days this week before transferring to Tokyo on Saturday for the official Rugby World Cup welcoming ceremony. They open their World Cup campaign against the All Blacks in Yokohama on September 21.

Compiled by Herman Mostert