Kolbe: World Cup opener against Scotland like 'a final for us'

Kolbe: World Cup opener against Scotland like 'a final for us'

Springbok star Cheslin Kolbe knows all too well how important the reigning champions' Rugby World Cup opener against Scotland is going to be.

The Boks start their Pool B campaign against the Scots on September 10 in Marseille and Kolbe said the World Cup encounter "will be a final for us".

Following that match, the three-time World champions then take on Ireland, who are currently the top-ranked side in the world, before facing tricky assignments against Tonga and Romania.

"The match against Scotland will be a final for us because we are in a difficult pool," Kolbe told AFP. "We will focus on our preparation for this important match.

"We are defending champions but that was four years ago. To reproduce that requires a lot of sacrifice, hard work and cohesion. We want to make our country proud of us and create memories."

Meanwhile, Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber believes the heat and humidity his squad experienced during their recent training camp on the Mediterranean island of Corsica has helped with their preparations for the Scotland clash.

"The players are used to the heat and humidity after training in these conditions in Corsica," Nienaber said via SA Rugby statement after the squad arrived in Toulon to continue their build-up.

"Scotland are ranked fifth in the world, and we know what they are capable of, so it is vital that we hit the ground running from our first training session."

South Africa arrived in Toulon after a ferry trip from Corsica, where they spent one week finalising their World Cup preparations after impressive wins in their final warm-up matches.

The Boks cruised to a 52-16 win over Wales in Cardiff, before sealing a 35-7 victory over the All Blacks at Twickenham. The latter result was a record winning margin in 105 Tests against their arch-rivals.

New Zealand and South Africa are the most successful teams in World Cup history as both countries have won the tournament three times each.

Later on Sunday, Nienaber said he pays no attention to his team's tag as favourites to clinch a fourth World Cup.

"It has no influence on us. Whether we are favourites or not will not make us better than Scotland," he said.

"I understand the concept and it is history but only our preparation will have an impact on this game."

READ MORE: Boks unbothered by polarising 7-1 split reaction