INTERNATIONAL

South Africa captain: Why facing Japan before World Cup is important

South African captain Siya Kolisi says playing against Japan in a build match will help them acclimatize ahead of the World Cup set for September to November in the Country.

Prior to the World Cup matches, Japan will host South Africa in a build-up match set for Friday, September 6, 2019, at the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium in Saitama north of Tokyo.

15 days later, South Africa will open their RWC campaign with a clash against the defending champions, New Zealand, at the International Stadium Yokohama.

Kolisi believes tackling Japan will be a great time for them to feel the weather conditions in Japan ahead of the crucial matches of the World Cup.

“Coming here to this side of the world will help as we get used to temperatures and things around here,” Kolisi told Kyodo News.

The flanker who came off the bench in the 2015b world cup match which they lost 34-32 to Japan recalls the loss, saying it was unexpected  but made them be more alert.

“It was a tough day for us as a team and it hurts even now but we have to give credit to Japan who played really well. You could see they really wanted to win and they were smart. We never thought it would happen but it did because they were really good that day,’
”It shook us a bit and it woke us up. It made us realise we had to be at our best at all times because at the world cup, it’s all on the day. Reputation counts for nothing.’

South Africa are in Pool B alongside New Zealand, Italy Namibia, and Canada.

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