Rugby World Cup | Sale Sharks' Faf de Klerk on South Africa vs Japan
After a difficult start with a loss to favourites - New Zealand, South Africa won their remaining games in Pool B with empathic victories over Italy and Canada to secure progress to the World Cup Quarter Finals. Sale Sharks scrum-half, Faf de Klerk’s energetic and non-stop style of play has seen him become a fan favourite for the Springboks since his first cap in 2016 and the 27-year-old will be looking to showcase his finest form in Sunday’s huge game against Japan.
Home nation, Japan has taken the tournament by storm so far, with a shock win over Ireland and followed it up with eye catching defeats of Scotland, Samoa and Russia to maintain a perfect record so far.
Going up against a fearless free-flowing side like Japan will put the pressure on South Africa to perform at the level they have previously shown in this competition and Faf gave us an insight into what the pressure to perform in a World Cup is like:
“I think it’s good, I think we’re still a bit of an underdog in the World Cup, I think that’s good as well. I think we’re always in with a shout every time. Even though through the year it might not go as well, I think the Springboks always have a chance to win it. I do think there will be a lot of pressure on the guys but we’re a nice group of lads, we get along really well and we’ll feed off that and hopefully take into games”
De Klerk also described the expectations he placed on himself and the rest of the side prior to flying to Japan:
“I think just to perform as consistently as possible, being a good 9 for the team, making sure my basics are 100% on the money; especially in games that are going to be tight. It’s going to come down to the little stuff you do well. As a team, we haven’t spoken about where we want to go with it but obviously the main goal will be to win it”
Sunday’s game promises to be another scintillating contest in what has been an eventful tournament, we at Morson wish Faf and South Africa all the best this weekend.