Rugby: Nobody fears the Boks after Japan defeat, says former coach White

South African rugby coach Jake White in this Aug 13, 2015 file photo.
South African rugby coach Jake White in this Aug 13, 2015 file photo.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - South Africa have become a team nobody will fear any more after their shock opening Rugby World Cup defeat against Japan, according to former Springboks coach Jake White.

South Africa lost 32-34 to the Brave Blossoms in Pool B last Saturday in the biggest upset in the competition since its first edition in 1987. "We have become an ordinary team," former coach Jake White, who led the Boks to the world title in 2007, told French sports daily L'Equipe on Tuesday.

"Nobody fears us any more. (Pool B rivals) Scotland have started to fancy their chances and it worries me."

White, who now coaches French Top 14 side Montpellier, added that South Africa's mistake was that they had underestimated Japan. "The Japanese were perfectly organised, they had a plan. The Springboks, instead, thought that simply turning up on the field would be enough," he said, adding that the staff had failed to prepare the game properly.

"Apparently nobody knew what to expect against Japan, nobody knew the Japanese players. Yet we have guys like Fourie du Preez who play in Japan. Have we asked them information? I don't think so.

"I don't want to lack respect towards Eddie Jones or the Japanese team but this defeat should never have happened. Rugby is our national sport, our players have known each other for a long time. We'd known for three years we'd be facing Japan."

South Africa now take on Samoa on Saturday and Japan face Scotland on Wednesday. The United States are the other team in Pool B.