The Boks are not moaning about their fate, but coach Rassie Erasmus believes England’s additional day will be beneficial to them
The Springboks will only have two full training sessions this week before taking on England in the World Cup final in Yokohama on Saturday.
While the Boks were still recovering yesterday from their hard-fought 19-16 semi-final win against Wales on Sunday, the England players were relaxing in the famous hot springs found all across Japan.
England played and won their semi-final against New Zealand on Saturday, giving them an extra day to recover and prepare for this weekend’s final.
The Boks are not moaning about their fate, but coach Rassie Erasmus believes England’s additional day will be beneficial to them.
“It is a disadvantage (to us) and the other things is that England also played one less game than us (because of the cancelled match between England and France because of Typhoon Hagibis),” Erasmus said in the wake of his team’s qualification for the final.
The Boks took yesterday off and will train today and tomorrow before having a rest day on Thursday.
The captain’s run will be held on Friday before the big game on Saturday at 11am (SA time).
“We have been aware of this situation and have prepared for it,” said Erasmus.
“Hopefully the guys will be able to recover quickly and the motivation and hunger of being in a World Cup final will carry them through.”
The Boks have already been in Japan for 60 days, having arrived first of all the competing teams. They, unlike the other nations, also played a warm-up game in Japan before the official start of the tournament, and had no games cancelled because of the typhoon.
The England match will be the Boks’ eighth Test since leaving South Africa on August 30.
Man of the Match in the Wales game, Handré Pollard (pictured) said the six day turn-around wasn’t an issue. “You can look at it as a disadvantage or you can just say it is what it is,” the flyhalf said.
“We will just have to make sure our bodies are ready to go. But, it is not really a big deal.”
England boss Eddie Jones said his players were in fantastic shape ahead of the final. “Our ability to recover is extraordinary,” he said. “The players are taking to onsens (hot springs) in droves whether hot or cold; they’re a great way to relax and are perfect for recovery.”
Jones added: “Our players are better today than they were last week and our training will be of a higher standard than last week, too.”
Meanwhile, England stars Owen Farrell and Jonny May are nursing slight injuries ahead of the final, while the Boks will be hopeful that key wing Cheslin Kolbe will recover in time from an ankle problem to take his place in the Bok starting team.