Mon 17 Dec 2018 | 06:06

Boks get Japan warm-up

Boks get Japan warm-up
Mon 17 Dec 2018 | 06:06
Boks get Japan warm-up

NEWS: South Africa will have an ideal opportunity to fine-tune their preparations for next year’s World Cup in Japan.

The Springboks will face the hosts in a historic match before the start of the global showpiece.

The South African Rugby Union and the Japanese Rugby Football Union announced details of this fixture 10 months before the start of the World Cup – which will be played on Friday, September 6, at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium in Saitama north of Tokyo.

The Boks will open their World Cup campaign two weeks later, on Saturday, September 21, against the defending champions, New Zealand, at the International Stadium Yokohama.

“This is an ideal opportunity for the Boks to get match-ready for the World Cup,” said “Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus.

“Our initial plans were to only arrive in Japan for a pre-tournament holding camp on September 7, but thanks to the JRFU we will now be leaving a week earlier, giving us almost three weeks in Japan before the start of the tournament.

“Apart from the much-needed game time on the field, this additional time in Japan, to get used to the weather and other conditions.

“Playing this game against the Brave Blossoms will be a wonderful way to get ready for the World Cup and we are truly grateful for the opportunity.”

SARU CEO Jurie Roux also thanked the JRFU for the invitation to host the Springboks.

“This will truly be a historic occasion – not only will it be the Boks’ first ever match in Japan, but also only the second time ever we face the men in red and white,” said Roux.

“One of the learnings from 2015 was that there was too much time without proper match practice between the Boks’ last Test, which was against Argentina in Buenos Aires, and their opening match against Japan more than a month later.

“To have this fixture will definitely benefit Rassie Erasmus and his team and we would like to thank our Japanese friends for agreeing to it.”

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The president of the JRFU, Tadashi Okamura, said Japan is very honoured to host the Springboks in their country ahead of the RWC2019.

“It gives us great pleasure that the Japan national team has been given an opportunity to play against the Springboks, who have won the Rugby World Cup twice, ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2019,” said Okamura.

“The match takes place at an important time when all participating teams are finalizing their preparations for the RWC2019 in Japan.

“I would like to express our sincere thanks to South Africa Rugby Union and its national team, the Springboks, for accepting our offer to stage this match. Our special thanks also go to all the people concerned in Kumagaya city, Saitama prefecture, who helped us to organise the match.”

After the game against Japan, the Boks will travel southwest to Kagoshima City, where their pre-tournament holding camp will take place from September 7 to 13.

South Africa’s World Cup schedule (with local and SA times):
Saturday, September 21: versus New Zealand, International Stadium Yokohama (18.45; 11.45)
Saturday, September 28: versus Namibia, City of Toyota Stadium (18.45; 11.45)
Friday, October 4: versus Italy, Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa (18.45; 11.45)
Tuesday, October 8: versus Canada, Kobe Misaki Stadium (19.15; 12.15)

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Boks Get Japan Warm-up - Japan | Rugby365