Japan are the surprise package of the tournament, having qualified for the knockout stages for the first time. They topped Pool A after beating Russia, Ireland, Samoa and Scotland, while the Boks were runners-up in Pool B following three wins and a loss.
Rassie Erasmus' Boks are favoured to win this weekend and progress to the semi-finals, but that does not mean they are taking Japan lightly. "Japan have world-class players and guys who are earning respect, in-and-out every week," said Vermeulen, adding that was excited to face several of players in the Japanese set-up who he knows well.
"It's a great opportunity to play against the host nation. I play my club rugby (in Japan) and I really enjoy it. I love the country I love the food, I love the culture, and what's better than playing the host country in a quarter-final?"...
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