Cape Town - Springbok scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies has had some year, and it is about to get even crazier with a Rugby World Cup semi-final against Wales on Sunday. 

The 23-year-old only made his Test debut in July this year, and less than four months later he finds himself on the verge of playing for the biggest prize in the game. 

Jantjies, who has only had one full season of Super Rugby at the Stormers, set the international rugby world alight when he bagged two tries against the Wallabies on debut and then scored a try after the hooter to secure the Boks a draw in Wellington against the All Blacks. 

He will start on the bench behind Faf de Klerk on Sunday, but he seems to be taking it all in his stride. 

"Things escalated quite quickly for me, I would say," he told media in Yokohama on Thursday.

"I've always been ready and up for a challenge. I've always prepared myself, so that if the challenge comes, I'm sure I'm ready for it.

"Fortunately, I got to make my debut this year, and I grabbed it with both hands.

"I work hard and I am continuing to work hard. Credit to Faf (De Klerk) and Cobus (Reinach), they are great guys to have around me, and it makes my job so much easier. I learn a lot from them."

Almost always the smallest player on the field, Jantjies has shown a capability on defence that few would predict when looking at his frame.

"I try not to think about size, because if I do, it's just going to put me in a negative mindset, and then I'm just going to hold back," he said.

"I try to go in with everything I have. I play out of my heart, so my body shape or type will never matter to me. To the smaller guys, they must just enjoy the rugby and put everything into it.

"I think if you are going to be scared and think about injuries, eventually you are going to get injuries.

"Or if you think about a guy running over you, he will eventually run over you. It's rugby, it's physical. You can't shy away from the physical stuff.

"You've just got to climb in there and embrace it."

Kick-off on Sunday is at 11:00 (SA time). 


South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 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 (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn


15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Owen Watkin