Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Springboks will thump Japan by a large margin in their opening Rugby World Cup match in Brighton on Saturday, if local bookmakers are to be believed.
According to Sportingbet.co.za, the Springboks will topple Japan by 44 points in the two nations’ first ever Test.
Despite being heavy favourites, the Springboks are cautious ahead of the match, especially given the fact that the Japanese are coached by former Wallabies mentor Eddie Jones.
Jones, who is expected to be named Stormers coach for next year’s Super Rugby competition, has sound knowledge of South African rugby, having worked as an assistant to the Boks during their victorious 2007 World Cup campaign in France.
“They are a well-coached team. They are coached by a guy who’s been involved with a side that’s won the World Cup and played in a World Cup final, so they know what they’re about, they’re well organised,” Bok forwards coach John McFarland said at a press conference in Eastbourne earlier in the week.
Backline coach Ricardo Loubscher echoed McFarland’s views later in the week.
“Eddie Jones is a world class coach, astute, very experienced, so we have to make sure that we prepare for anything on the day,” said Loubscher.
Saturday’s clash at Brighton Community Stadium is scheduled for 17:45 (SA time).
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Fourie du Preez, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 JP Pietersen
15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Male Sau, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Kotaro Matsushima, 10 Kosei Ono, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Hendrik Tui, 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Hitoshi Ono, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Substitutes: 16 Takeshi Kazu, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Hiroshi Yamashita, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20. Amanaki Mafi, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Harumichi Tatekawa, 23 Karne Hesketh