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#RWC2015: Jean de Villiers hopes to erase Bok's shame of Japan defeat

The Boks skipper says he expected to be stripped of his place by Heyneke Meyer after last week's loss.

FILE. Schalk Burger keeps his eye on affairs from the back of the Springboks scrum on 19 September, 2015. Picture: Twitter @rugbyworldcup.

JOHANNESBURG - Springbok skipper Jean de Villiers is hoping to erase the shame of last week's shock defeat by Japan in the Rugby World Cup when his team takes on Samoa in a crucial match in Birmingham later today.

He's told the Telegraph newspaper that he expected to be stripped of his place by coach Heyneke Meyer after last Saturday's loss.

Meyer says his decision to keep de Villiers as skipper for this evening's match was one of the most difficult of his life.

Fans will be holding their breaths and thumbs for a very different outcome to last weekend's.

The Boks have promised to improve on their last performance against Japan.

They have their work cut out for them this afternoon when de Villiers's men come up against what's always a physical Samoan team.

Looking to capitalise on Japan's shock result in Brighton, Meyer has made eight changes for the match, strengthening his squad with the inclusion of Eben Etzebeth, Duane Vermeulen and Damian de Allende for what should be a bruising encounter for the pacific islanders.

The match kicks off at 17:45.

Visit the Eyewitness News special Rugby World Cup 2015 portal.