Cape Town — Former Springbok assistant coach Gary Gold believes that South Africa will emerge victorious in Saturday's massive Rugby World Cup clash against the All Blacks in Yokohama.
The old rivals meet in what is easily the most highly anticipated fixture of the pool stages, with the winner likely to finish on top of Pool B.
Gold, who served as assistant coach under Peter de Villiers at the 2011 World Cup and has also coached the Sharks, Bath and Worcester Warriors, is in Japan as head coach of the United States as they prepare for their own opener against England on September 26.
The USA miss the first round of pool stage fixtures and Gold confirmed in a press conference on Wednesday that he would watch Saturday's clash between two of the tournament's heavyweight sides.
"It's going to go down to the wire. I think the Springboks are going to edge it, only because so many Springboks have spent time in Japan," Gold said.
"They've been here a little bit longer, they're more used to the conditions, they've already played a game here in Japan.
"I think coming off the Rugby Championship they're in slightly better form. But in saying that, anybody who writes off the All Blacks does so at their peril.
"I think it's going to be a humdinger, a great game of rugby. I'm very happy we're going to be watching it in the comfort of our hotel."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 11:45 (SA time).
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel
15 Beauden Barrett 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Ardie Savea, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Ofa Tuungafasi, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Sonny Bill Williams, 23 Ben Smith
- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard