- Japanese citizens have shown phenomenal support for the Springbok team ever since the start of the Rugby World Cup
- The host nation's admiration and respect for Mzansi was evident as they encouraged fans to learn the South African national anthem
- The streets and stadiums have been filled with Japanese fans wearing the green and gold
The love and respect that Japan has shown South Africa is clear for all to see and has touched Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus.
An early sign of the admiration shown was that the host nation encouraged citizens to learn the South African national anthem.
Thousands of local rugby fans even made the effort to attend the Springboks' training sessions.
The streets, pubs and stadiums have been filled with Japanese fans wearing the green and gold in a show of support for their adopted second team.
IOL reported that Erasmus has never experienced support of this nature from opposition fans.
Erasmus said, “Something that has stood out for me - and I don’t think I’ve seen this anywhere else - is the people of the host nation wearing the jersey of the visiting team - the Springbok badge.”
Ironically, the Springboks' darkest day is credited with giving a huge boost to Japanese rugby and the support their team now enjoys.
In one of the most memorable World Cup matches ever, South Africa suffered their most humiliating loss by 32-34 to Japan at the 2015 World Cup.
An interesting development is that the Springboks are set to face Japan during the quarter-finals.
Hopefully the team will still enjoy the amazing support even if they avenge their defeat to the host nation.
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