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Springboks with the weight of a nation on their shoulders ahead of Wales clash

For the Springboks it is far bigger than that as they turn their eyes from Japan to South Africa and knowing what a place in a third Rugby World Cup final would mean to their country.

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi. Picture: @Springboks/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – The Springboks go into Sunday’s Rugby World Cup semi-final against Wales knowing that this is much more than just two groups of grown men chasing an oval ball around a field.

For the Springboks it is far bigger than that as they turn their eyes from Japan to South Africa and knowing what a place in a third Rugby World Cup final would mean to their country.

“I have seen what winning a World Cup does for our country,” said captain Siya Kolisi.

“I am old enough to remember the 2007 World Cup [he was 16] and I remember what it did for the country then and I know what it will do for the country now”.

“It just shows that when we decide to work together for one goal as a team or a country, we can make anything happen. We can achieve all our dreams or goals. That’s why we want to give our best this week and hopefully do the same in the final.”

Kolisi said the team was grateful for the support they had received in Japan, and also from back home.

“We’re proud of our people back home and the people who came last week to support us,” he said.

“We know so many people want to be here but can’t make it and we just want to say that we really appreciate it. We are doing this for them – for South Africa. We’re doing it for all the people back at home.”

Standing in their path is a Wales team that briefly held the No. 1 world ranking this year and is aiming for its own piece of history by reaching the final for the first time.

“We know we’re facing a tough opposition but all we can do is focus on what we do best and what got us here,” said Kolisi.

“We’re very excited as a team. We’ve worked hard this week. We have prepped as much as we can and given them the respect they deserve. Bu the most important thing is that we’re effective at what we do – that’s our focus.”

Kick off for the second semifinal is at 11am.