Rassie will pick best Bok line-up for Japan Test

Rassie Erasmus (Getty)
Rassie Erasmus (Getty)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus plans to pick his best line-up for the Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Japan.

The Boks depart for Japan on Friday and will face the host nation in a Test in Kumagaya on September 6.

They will open their World Cup campaign against New Zealand in Yokohama on September 21, followed by matches against Namibia (Toyota, September 28), Italy (Fukuroi, October 4) and Canada (Kamaishi, October 8).

Erasmus told Netwerk24 that the best possible Bok team will square up against Japan next Friday.

"That will also be the case against New Zealand, before we will rest some players against Namibia," Erasmus said.

The Boks will be the first visiting team to arrive in Japan and Erasmus explained his reasons: "There is time to get used to the heat and we'll be facing Japan in front of their home fans. So we hope to be used to the conditions and the environment by the time the tournament starts."

The Springboks and Japan have played only one prior Test - at the 2015 World Cup in England when the Japanese caused arguably the shock of the tournament with a 34-32 win.

The Boks are currently ranked fifth on the official World Rugby rankings and Japan ninth.

Springboks' 31-man Rugby World Cup squad:

Forwards (17)

Schalk Brits (Bulls), Lood de Jager (Bulls), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Siya Kolisi (captain, Stormers), Francois Louw (Bath, England), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Kwagga Smith (Lions), RG Snyman (Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)

Backs (14)

Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), S'bu Nkosi (Sharks), Willie le Roux (Wasps, England), Handre Pollard (Bulls), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France)

Compiled by: Herman Mostert

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