Cheslin Kolbe (ankle), Herschel Jantjies (hamstring) and Francois Louw (knee) all did sideline rehab in Kobe today – but the Springboks are not battening down the hatches just yet.
Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s Director of Rugby, said that all three remained in contention for the Rugby World Cup Quarter-final in nine days’ time.
“Cheslin is still nursing the ankle injury, but we’re hopeful that he will be fully training on Monday,” said Erasmus. “I think there’s a very good chance he’ll be available – an 80/90 percent chance.
“Herschel has a light hamstring strain but he finished the game, so I think at this stage it’s just precautionary to keep him out of training.
“But it’s also one of those that – at this stage – we’re a little bit nervous that we only have three scrumhalves here. So we’ve given him a little more recovery time so that hopefully on Monday he is ready to go. It’s not even a grade one – he won’t be going home.
“Flo [Francois Louw] has got a few bumps and bruises – one knee is swollen a little bit, but he is at that age where after every game he takes a little bit longer to recover, but he’ll fine.
“We’ll just manage him a little bit differently than the other guys.”
The other 28 players took full part in field training in steamy but overcast conditions as Japan held its breath at the approach of Super Typhoon Hagibis, which is expected to make landfall in the Tokyo region on Saturday afternoon.
World Rugby announced on Thursday that two matches – New Zealand versus Italy and England versus France – has been cancelled because of the threat to life posed by the typhoon.
The Springboks’ base in Kobe is on the far western edge of the typhoon’s path and although heavy rain and gusting winds are expected in the region later on Saturday, the city is not facing a lockdown.
“It won’t affect us in terms of training – we’re training tomorrow and then having Sunday off – and then we’ll move up to that side [Tokyo] on Monday,” said Erasmus.
“Tomorrow we have got a split training session which we could do indoors if the weather is too bad. So, for us, it’s not too bad in terms of the typhoon.
“Obviously it will influence the opponents we will have in the quarter-finals, so we’re just interested in following the matches as everybody else probably is.
“I’ve personally never been involved in anything like this and it’s interesting to be part of it.”
The Springboks will play one of other either Japan, Ireland or Scotland in the Quarter-finals – whichever of them finishes top of their Pool A.
That will be Japan if their match against Scotland in Yokohama on Sunday is abandoned because of storm damage – or if Japan win should it go ahead.
The Boks will play Ireland if they beat Samoa tomorrow and then Scotland overcome Japan with a bonus point on Sunday.
And the Boks could play Scotland if they beat Japan with a bonus point while Ireland lose to Samoa.
What is certain is that the Quarter-final is scheduled to take place at the Tokyo Stadium on Sunday, 20 October (kick off 12h15 SA time).