RWC2015 Throwback: Japan, South Africa prefer experience for RWC clash

RWC2015 Throwback: Japan, South Africa prefer experience for RWC clash

Eddie Jones has named the oldest Japan line-up in history ahead of their Rugby World Cup clash with South Africa, who the Australian coach believes are vulnerable.

South Africa finished bottom in the 2015 Rugby Championship including a 37-25 loss at home to Argentina, and their coach Heyneke Meyer is the target of a race row in the lead-up to Saturday's match in Brighton.

While Jones did not mention the storm surrounding Meyer, the 55-year-old Australian insists he has seen enough on the field this year to indicate Japan could upset the Springboks in Pool B.

"South Africa have had a tough time as of late," Jones said at Japan's pre-match news conference. "They haven't done well in the Rugby Championship.

"For the first time in their history they lost to Argentina. Who would've thought South Africa would lose to Argentina? You never know what's around the corner.

"We've come to this World Cup to gain some respect for Japan. At the end of the tournament we want people to say that Japan is a respected rugby country.

"If we play well enough we're going to win games of rugby."

Jones has named six players in his starting XV that are aged 30 or older - Kensuke Hatakeyama, Luke Thompson, Hitoshi Ono, Fumiaki Tanaka, Craig Wing and Akihito Yamada.

South Africa have also focused on experience with no fewer than 880 total caps across their line-up - the most in Springboks' history.

Meyer will enter the match having been labelled racist due to his selections since he took over as head coach in 2012.

But young fly-half Handre Pollard has insisted a failed bid by The Agency for New Agenda to block the Springboks from playing at the World Cup as they did not meet government policies on transformation - a post-apartheid concept  to promote equality - will not affect the players.

Even if South Africa are mentally affected, history is against Japan, with the Brave Blossoms having only won one World Cup match in their history, while the Springboks are two-time champions.

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