TOKYO – Japan's knowledge of Afrikaans has forced South Africa to change their calls for Sunday's quarterfinal against the RWC hosts at the Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo.
"Normally when we speak Afrikaans, it's an advantage as the opposition don't understand," said Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick.
But three of the Brave Blossoms have played professional rugby in South Africa – flank Pieter ‘Lappies’ Labuschagne, lock Wimpie van der Walt and rightwing Kotaro Matsushima.
"Now they've got Lappies, Wimpie and surprisingly the winger (Matsushima), who was born in South Africa. So, they will probably have some inside communication from our camp," said Stick.
Labuschagne played Super Rugby with some of the current Boks, such as Willie le Roux, and was even part of a Springbok squad in 2013. But he did not play a Test for South Africa, and eventually moved to Japan in 2016.