Rugby World Cup: Willie le Roux expects sore bodies after 'brutal' Tonga battle

Rugby World Cup: Willie le Roux expects sore bodies after 'brutal' Tonga battle

The Springboks are expecting nothing less than a "brutal" battle against Tonga in their final Rugby World Cup pool match in Marseille on Sunday.

The Boks have targeted an accurate performance on both attack and defence as they look to book a place in the quarter-finals.

South Africa are second on the log in Pool B on 10 points, four behind Ireland who lead the group on 14 points, and five ahead of Scotland, who have one game in hand.

Tonga are in fourth place without any points after suffering defeats against both Ireland and Scotland - two of the strongest teams in the pool on the world rankings - but the Boks are not leaving anything to chance.

They are rightly not looking past this weekend's fixture and are not letting their guard down as they look to bounce straight back from last weekend's defeat.

"It's a big week for us against Tonga," said Springbok fullback Willie le Roux.

"This is knockout rugby for us and it's going to be brutal because they have some big guys playing for them.

"It's going to be a physical match and I think there'll be some sore bodies after the game. Our defence will have to be up for it because they have players that can spark anything from anywhere."

Springbok lock Marvin Orie also expected a massive onslaught from the Pacific Islanders in the set pieces.

"They have a lot of big and athletic players. They are hard hitters as one can see, so we are expecting challenging scrums and lineouts. Many of their players have also played at a high level, so it will be a tough match."

Le Roux was realistic about the role he played in the Rugby World Cup squad despite being one of the most experienced players in the squad with 89 Test caps, saying with such good depth in the group, no one could take their place in the team for granted.

"On a personal note, I just want to do my best, enjoy myself and to try to make the team win," he said. "We have such great depth in the team, one cannot get comfortable in a jersey. We keep pushing one another to get better."

Orie, meanwhile, was excited about joining forces with his former Tygerberg High School team-mate, Bok centurion Eben Etzebeth, in the second row this weekend.

"Eben is a world class player, he's played over 100 Tests for South Africa. His game is also at a high level, and he inspires us all to reach our best through the standards he sets."

The match at Stade de Marseille kicks off at 21h00 on Sunday.

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