Fourie du Preez (Gallo Images)
Eastbourne - Returning scrumhalf Fourie du Preez has played an important part in preparing South Africa for their opening Rugby World Cup clash with Japan by offering special insight on the opponents.
The veteran halfback, back in the Springbok match-day 23 for the first time in more than a year, plays his club rugby in Japan and has been warning teammates to expect a feisty challenge in Brighton on Saturday, as well as assisting the tactical planning.
"Over the last two weeks, every now and then, the coach (Heyneke Meyer) has come and asked for a little bit of input," he said at the South Africa base on the south coast of England.
Du Preez was recruited for Suntory Sungoliath by Australian Eddie Jones, who is now Japan's coach.
"We must expect a quick battle. Eddie has been preparing for this game for the last year, so expect there is a lot of detailed planning on their side," the 33-year-old said.
"Our guys are not too familiar with the Japanese team but we are letting them know not to underestimate them. Hopefully that filters through and we won't be complacent at the weekend. It will be a tough battle.
"Eddie is one of the best technical coaches in the world. He will have prepared the Japanese team thoroughly. I expect he'll throw in a few surprises but we'll have to adapt."
A serious knee injury kept Du Preez from competitive action this season but he said he was happy with his progress back to full fitness.
He was named on the bench for Saturday's game but coach Meyer said on Wednesday he would give him some game time.
It is the first ever meeting on the rugby field between the two nations.
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