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#RWC2015: Willem Alberts out of the Japan clash

Willem Alberts is out of the Japan clash thanks to a calf strain. Pieter-Steph du Toit starts at flank.

Rugby fans in Brighton ahead of the Springboks opening match against Japan share their rugby regalia creations on 19 September, 2015. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Willem Alberts is out of the Japan clash thanks to a calf strain. Pieter-Steph du Toit starts at flank.

The Springboks kick their 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign off today when they take on minnows Japan in their opening game.

The change in the line-up sees Eben Etzebeth move up to the bench.

Team Doctor Craig Roberts said, "Willem felt some discomfort during the captain's run and we took him out of the session... We reassessed him again this morning and decided it would be better to withdraw him from the team."

As a result of Alberts' withdrawal, the starting team now only has a combined total of 851 Test caps.

Looking ahead to the match, Jean De Villiers said they're ready to go.

The Boks are without a doubt favourites to win and also to advance as the winner of their pool which includes Samoa and the USA.

South Africa could then end up facing hosts England in the quarterfinal.

Visit the Eyewitness News special Rugby World Cup 2015 portal.

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