South Africa (Springboks) will play 2019 Rugby World Cup hosts Japan in Saitama on September 6 in their final warm-up match for the tournament, the national rugby union announced Monday.
Japan caused one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history when they stunned South Africa 34-32 at the pool stage in England three years ago.
“This is an ideal opportunity for the Boks to get match ready for the Rugby World Cup,” Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus said in a statement.
“We are truly grateful for the opportunity to play the Brave Blossoms while getting used to the weather and other conditions.”
The Springboks face Australia, New Zealand and Argentina in a Rugby Championship trimmed from two rounds to one next year and Argentina again in a Test before travelling to Japan.
Springboks one of favourites to win 2019 Rugby World Cup
South Africa are ranked fifth in the world and considered to be among the countries who could beat defending champions New Zealand at the World Cup.
The Springboks are in the same World Cup pool as the All Blacks and the two teams are expected to reach the quarter-finals at the expense of Italy, Namibia and Canada.
South Africa, who won the World Cup as hosts in 1995 and again in 2007, lost narrowly to New Zealand in the 2015 semi-finals.
Springboks schedule ahead of 2019 Rugby World Cup
July 20: Australia, Johannesburg
July 27: New Zealand, Wellington
Aug 10: Argentina, away (venue TBC)
Aug 17: Argentina, Pretoria
Sept 6: Japan, Saitama
2019 Rugby World Cup
Sept 21: New Zealand, Yokohama
Sept 28: Namibia, Toyota
Oct 4: Italy, Fukuroi
Oct 8: Canada, Kobe