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England welcomes Springboks for #RWC2015

The Boks open their RWC campaign next Saturday against Japan in Brighton.

FILE: The team set off on a two-hour journey by bus to Eastbourne, where they will be based for the first week of the tournament. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Springboks were greeted by sunny but cool conditions when they landed at Heathrow on Saturday morning, but not even the typical English weather could curb their enthusiasm as the team finally got into proper Rugby World Cup spirit.

The Boks were warmly welcomed by a delegation led by the South African High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Obed Mlaba, as well as representatives from Rugby World Cup.

Thereafter the team set off on a two-hour journey by bus to Eastbourne, where they will be based for the first week of the tournament. The Boks open their RWC campaign next Saturday against Japan in Brighton.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said, "Most of the talk of the last year centred around the Rugby World Cup, so it is great to finally be here."

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, who will be playing in his third Rugby World Cup, echoed Meyer's comments.

"The rugby is obviously the main thing, but it's also important to enjoy this special tournament as it only comes around once every four years. We'll be seeing parts of England we've never been to and the players are very excited to experience new things and new places. We must not lose sight of our ultimate goal though, and that is to go all the way."

#SpringbokSelfie The Boks have boarded their flight to England

photo courtesy of @kolisi1 pic.twitter.com/dpSmtRGU6U

De Villiers also thanked the South African supporters who came to Heathrow to welcome the team and apologised for not being able to greet them.

"We are aware there were a lot of supporters waiting for us at Heathrow, but unfortunately the organisers took us via an alternative exit to avert the queues at customs and we did not get to see them. We're very sorry about it but it was not in our hands."

WATCH: Bokke given golden #RWC2015 send-off

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