Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says he is looking at "around 40" players as possible squad members for next year's World Cup in Japan.
There are only four Test matches remaining for the Boks between now and the start of the tournament in September next year, and Erasmus must settle on a squad of 31 that will travel to the first ever World Cup to be hosted in Asia.
In an exclusive interview with SuperSport commentator Matt Pearce, Erasmus looked ahead to the Boks' chances in Japan.
"We are currently looking at about 40 players. Then again, there might be a guy who plays the best rugby you've ever seen who can knock down the door," the coach said.
The Boks face New Zealand in their first match of the World Cup and face a possible quarter-final against Ireland if they lose that match.
It all contributes towards a tough path to the final for South Africa, but Erasmus says that it is not wise to think about that.
"If we start looking at all of those teams it will just make us nervous. We can lose to anybody, we have seen that, and we can beat anybody," he said.
"That is how close the margins are. It's an old cliché, but unfortunately, we don't have another route other than going game by game. We have to beat New Zealand, and then we will go on and on.
"We've put ourselves in a position now where we can win every single match. I think we did evolve (in 2018), but we have to improve by another 15% I believe if we want to win the World Cup."