Japan competed in all RWC tournaments between 1987and 2015, winning four Test matches from a total of 28. Their first win against a Tier 1 country was in 2015 against South Africa with a score of 34-32. At the time it was described as the “greatest RWC shock ever”.
In this year’s tournament the Brave Blossoms won all four of their pool matches which included Ireland and Scotland. Less than a month ago Ireland was ranked first on the World rankings with Scotland in seventh place and Japan in 10th. The current rankings are Ireland (4th), South Africa (5th), Japan (7th) and Scotland (9th).
This will be the third encounter between the two countries and the Springboks’ record to date is as follows: Played 2, Won 1, Lost 1, Drawn 0, Points for 73, Points against 41, Tries for 10, Tries against 4; Wins 50%
TEAM MATCH RECORDS AGAINST JAPAN
- Most points: 41
- Most tries: 6
- Most conversions: 4
- Most penalty goals: 2
INDIVIDUAL MATCH RECORDS AGAINST JAPAN
- Most points: 15 – Makazole Mapimpi
- Most tries: 3 – Makazole Mapimpi
- Most conversions: 2 – Patrick Lambie, Handré Pollard and Frans Steyn
- Most penalty goals: 1 – Patrick Lambie and Handré Pollard
- The total test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 665.
- There are 209 caps in the backline with 456 caps among the forwards. On the bench there are a further 293 caps.
- The average caps per player in the backline is 30, the forwards 57 while the players on the bench average 37.
- The average age of the starting XV is 28.
- Handré Pollard needs two tries to equal the career record of eight tries as a flyhalf held by Morné Steyn.
- Duane Vermeulen will play in his 50th Test match as a Number 8. The most by a Springbok player.
- The referee is Wayne Barnes of England. This will be his 15th Test match as a referee with South Africa involved and his 88th Test match in his career
- The assistant referees are Ben O’Keeffe of New Zealand and Luke Pearce of England while Rowan Kitt from England, will be the TMO.