It was business as usual for the Boks, who currently top Pool B with 15 points after four matches, while Ireland (in second place on 14 points) and Scotland (in third place on 10 points) after only three matches, will battle out in the pool decider on Saturday.

With a long string of permutations for which of the three teams could make it through to the quarter-finals, Springbok assistant coach Felix Jones was optimistic that the side were in a strong position to make it through to the top eight.

The Boks had two days off to rest and recuperate after wrapping up the pool stage of their campaign with a physically demanding 49-18 victory against Tonga in Marseille on Sunday night, and got back down to business on Wednesday where they were joined by Am, who replaced wing Makazole Mapimpi whose Rugby World Cup was cut short by a fractured cheekbone.

“Lukhanyo arrived today (Wednesday) and did some light field work with us, so we’ll see how he goes in the next few days," said Jones.

“He’s an experienced player and he’s been part of the group for many years, so we’ll bank on his experience and his ability to do the job for us.”

Jones said although the team won’t be playing a match this week their training programme was similar to a normal week.

Felix Jones at Springbok training.

Felix Jones at Springbok training.

“The boys had two days off after the last Test, so it was just an extra day off, otherwise it’s a normal week,” Jones explained.

“We’ll have three days of training, but because we are not playing this weekend, we can perhaps push some things a little harder and pull back in certain areas.”

Jones admitted that while their Rugby World Cup fate was out of their hands, there was a strong chance the team could make it through to the top eight and said they were preparing as such.

“We have to improve to keep progressing in the tournament especially if you consider the opposition teams coming up,” said Jones.

“There are no easy games, and any match can be determined by one point, a missed tackle, a missed lineout, or a pass. So, there isn’t only one area to improve on when you know you’ll come up against teams ranked in the top six in the world.”

Of the permutations the team faces, Jones said the competition for quarter-final places was still open.

Grant Williams.

Grant Williams.

“Italy can also still qualify (in Pool A featuring France and New Zealand) so we’ll keep an eye on the three teams we think can go through,” said Jones.

“In our case there are about 20 possible permutations, and we can lose out in one of those scenarios, although it is unlikely. So, after the weekend we’ll narrow in on the opposition.”

Springbok utility back Grant Williams was at ease about the team being in limbo in the next few days and said: “We can only focus on ourselves this week, so we’ll wait until the weekend and see who we could play against and then focus on them.”

The Hollywoodbets Sharks scrumhalf was pleased to welcome his provincial teammate Am to the squad following the loss of Mapimpi: “He’s a good leader and everyone enjoys him in the Springboks and Sharks environment.”

With Williams having featured on the wing in the Tests against Romania and Tonga despite being regarded as a specialist scrumhalf in the past, he was excited about the opportunity to play both positions.

“I’ll fulfil any role that I’m selected in,” said Williams. “I’m enjoying wing because there is more space, but I enjoy both positions.”