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Kolbe, Jantjies '99% ready' for Bok RWC quarterfinal - Erasmus

Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby, said that he expected to have a full squad from which to choose.

South Africa's Cheslin Kolbe (L) scores a try during the friendly rugby match between Japan and South Africa at the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium in Kumagaya on 6 September 2019. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Winger Cheslin Kolbe and scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies are expected to be fit for the Springboks' Rugby World Cup quarterfinal match against Japan in Tokyo on Sunday.

Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby, said that he expected to have a full squad from which to choose.

“Internally, our team has already been announced and they will both be in the team, we will have our first full training session in preparation for Japan tomorrow. We expect them to come through the training session so I would say they are 99% ready," said Erasmus.

“The first thing is that it’s really tough not to like Japanese people, the way they have embraced all teams - not just South Africa - on and off the field, and adopting you as a city, putting on South African jerseys and making you feel at home is something special which I have never experienced in my life before.

“The way they have handled the typhoon - and I know there have been lots of losses in terms of lives and in different ways – and we send our condolences from South Africa and the Springboks to those people. But, again, it shows the strength of Japanese people to still host a game and beat a team like Scotland.

Erasmus said he wasn’t surprised by Japan’s success and expected a closer game than the Boks’ 41-7 victory over Japan in Kumagaya six weeks ago.

“In the warm-up game there was no pressure, and I think the way Japan has embraced the pressure is really impressive,” said Erasmus.

“That pressure will be massive on Sunday and it will be interesting to see how both teams handle the pressure of expectation on both sides. For us, their success hasn’t been a big surprise. After our warm-up game, I said in the press conference that if I thought if we were No 1 or No 2 in our pool, they would be No 1 or No 2 in their pool – so we’re not surprised."

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