Japan out to prove slaying of South Africa was no Rugby World Cup fluke, says coach Eddie Jones

Ross McLean
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Japan coach Eddie Jones insists his side need to dispatch Scotland in their Rugby World Cup Pool B clash in Gloucester to prove they are not one-hit wonders after toppling two-time winners South Africa.

The Brave Blossoms rocked the tournament by overcoming the Springboks 34-32 in Brighton on Saturday, a result dubbed the biggest shock in World Cup history.

Victory saw Japan usurp Scotland in the official World Rugby standings after climbing to 11th, while the Asian champions have made six changes to their starting XV to face Scotland.

“Are we favourites? Well if you read most of the papers we’re not,” said Jones. “People still think it was a fluke that we beat South Africa, so this is a great chance for us to show it wasn’t and really front up as a serious rugby nation.”

Jones, who has already agreed to deal to join Cape Town-based Stormers after the World Cup moved to heap the pre-match tension onto Scotland, who will be making their first appearance of the tournament.

“There is a great American coach who said, ‘Pressure is what you feel when you don’t know what you are doing’. So while we are nervous about the game we don’t feel any pressure.

“Last Saturday’s game showed that maybe the order of world rugby can change. All the pressure is on Scotland.”

Scotland prop WP Nel, who only qualified for his adopted nation last month after spending three years with Edinburgh, has denied he has extra motivation despite his South African heritage.

“I don’t think there are scores to settle. I’m playing for my Scotland team so there are no extra emotions,” he said. “It’s just a game I want to win.”

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