(Photo Credit: Warren Little/World Rugby via Getty Images)
Rassie Erasmus, Head coach of the Springboks announced that all 31 players in Japan are fit and will participate in the practice today. Cheslin Kolbe who missed the semi-finals against Wales due to an ankle injury and should play a major role in South Africa's attempt to win the World Cup for the third time.
The players will begin field preparations for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final against England today. South Africa will have one day fewer to prepare than England, squeezing in two field sessions and a captain’s run either side of a recovery day on Thursday.
The coaching team had already turned their planning thoughts to England shortly after the final whistle in the 19-16 victory over Wales.
“We’ve played England four times in the last 18 months and it’s two-all, with three tests in South Africa and the last one at Twickenham, so we are accustomed to the way they play,” said Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby.
“They are a lot better than the last time we played them. You could see it in the way they dismantled New Zealand. But we think we are in with a chance.”
“I’m not sure that the Rugby World Cup final is going to be decided by an expansive game plan with wonderful tries,”
“I might be right or I might be wrong – but we will go and grind it out.
“There are some areas of our game that we have to improve if we want to win, but we’ve given ourselves a chance.”
“We’re a team that’s been together for 25 matches,”
“We’ve had personnel changes – with a guy like Cheslin (Kolbe) going out and Sbu (Nkosi) coming in – and we’ve played teams with different style and we’re still in a phase where we have to adapt.
“If you play a team like New Zealand with a fast, running game we’re used to that; if we play a team like Wales with a long-distance kicking game it’s different for us to try and run from our own 22.
“But we’ve grown a little bit of experience now and playing against Wales four times we’ve learned our lessons – especially in the Washington test – we were ahead in the last few minutes and then they clawed it back to win that test match.”