Cape Town - The Springboks are ready for the challenge posed by a "well-coached" Japan outfit, coach Rassie Erasmus has said.

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Erasmus addressed reporters in Tokyo after naming his side on Thursday, with the Bok mentor reverting to the 23-man squad that recorded a 49-3 victory over Italy a fortnight ago.

"We were satisfied with the performance against Italy and want to build on that," Erasmus told the Springboks' official website.

"We have been improving and building momentum this season and we will be looking for further improvements this weekend."

Erasmus was full of praise for Japan, who are coached by former All Blacks flank Jamie Joseph.

"Japan are a well-coached team and have deservedly climbed to seventh in the world rankings. It'll be a good challenge but we’re definitely up for it."

Erasmus was satisfied with the experience at his disposal for this crunch match.

"When we set out on this campaign at the start of last season, one of the things we said we wanted to do was broaden and deepen the experience in the squad," said Erasmus.

"We're now in a position where everyone in the starting XV has had a proper taste of top-level Test rugby and we’ve got a strong spine of Test experience for these high-pressure matches.

"You need that experience when it comes to handling the pressure situations we will face on Sunday and I think we’ve achieved that now."

On the bench, Erasmus again announced a six-two split in favour of the forwards - opposed to the traditional five-three split - which was successfully deployed against Italy.

"We will look at our replacement strategy on a game-by-game basis and for this opponent on this occasion we believe we'll need fresh legs among the forwards at some point," said Erasmus.

"We're very fortunate in that we have a squad that has a number of highly versatile players among forwards and backs who can slot into a number of positions to cover all eventualities."

Kick-off is at 12:15 (SA time) on Sunday.




South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 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

- SA Rugby