Cape Town - Former captain Adriaan Strauss believes that the Springboks have what it takes to go the distance at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The 33-year-old served as former coach Allister Coetzee's first Bok skipper throughout the 2016 international season and he was also on the field the day the Boks were stunned by Japan at the 2015 World Cup in Brighton.
With 66 Test matches to his name, Strauss has seen just about all there is to see on a rugby field.
He acknowledges that he tends to make such decisions with his heart and not his head sometimes, but the former Cheetahs and Bulls hooker firmly believes that the South Africans have the right ingredients to do something memorable in Japan over the next two months.
"I think the team has a lot of confidence right now and it looks like there is good spirit amongst the guys," Strauss was quoted as saying on Netwerk24 on Thursday.
"The team is in aa good space psychologically and has not lost a Test this season.
"It's great to talk about the World Cup and know that the Springboks have a realistic chance of winning ... my money is definitely on the Boks."
Strauss added that he was "almost 100% certain" that there would be no upset repeat when the Boks and Japan clash in Kumagaya on Friday.
Strauss replaced Bismarck du Plessis in the second half of that famous match, but he doesn't think it is possible that it will be repeated in 2019.
The Boks' World Cup opener will be on September 21 against the defending champion All Blacks in Yokohama.
Kick-off on Friday is at 12:15 (SA time).
15 William Tupou, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Michael Leitch (captain), 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Koo Ji-won, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Keita Inagaki
Substitutes: 16 Takuya Kitade, 17 Isileli Nakajima, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 James Moore, 20 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ataata Moeakiola
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel