Dupont was injured in France’s pool game against Namibia a few weeks ago, when he fractured his cheekbone, but the French Rugby Federation said on Monday that their captain had been given the green light to return to training following surgery.

The Springboks arrived in Paris on Monday afternoon in high spirits and excited about the prospect of facing France in the fourth quarter-final, which will kick off at 21h00 on Sunday evening in front of a passionate and vocal home crowd at the Stade de France.

De Klerk, Deon Davids (assistant coach) and RG Snyman (lock) addressed the media on Monday all said their RWC experience, as well as playing the French in Marseille last year – when the hosts won by 30-26 – served as a good dry run for Sunday’s match.

Of Dupont’s potential return, De Klerk said: “He’s a great player and he gives the team a lot of confidence. But it doesn’t affect us he if plays or doesn’t. We prepare to face the team, not individuals. That said, for me personally, it’s always good to face the world’s best.”

Davids said the team didn’t need more motivation that that as they prepare to begin their training programme on Tuesday: “We are playing against the World Cup hosts in what is going to be a massive atmosphere on the day.

“Last year we had a dry run when we faced them in Marseille and some of the players had a taste of playing in the World Cup knock-out stages in Japan in 2019. That said, we need to adapt well on the day and be razor sharp in our execution.

RG Snyman flanked by Frans Malherbe and Franco Mostert at a training session in France.

RG Snyman flanked by Frans Malherbe and Franco Mostert at a training session in France.

“Playing against France in this beautiful city (Paris) in a Rugby World Cup quarter-final is big, and I don’t think any team needs more motivation than that.

"They are a formidable team, they’re ranked second in the world, and they’ll have the home crowd behind them, so they’ll be a massive opponent. They are definitely the favourites going into the match. They also don’t have weaknesses at this stage.”

Snyman, in turn, expected a fierce battle in the scrums on Sunday: “The physicality of the French scrum is definitely a challenge we’ll face. But we also measure ourselves on our physicality, so we are looking forward to it.”

With a Rugby World Cup semi-final spot up for grabs, De Klerk said the Boks were comfortable varying their game on the day if needed.

“As a team we can go back our traditional way of doing things if needs be, but we have also added additional plays to our game which we can bank on,” said De Klerk.

“So, it will go down to what is needed on the day. As a team we are in a lucky position in that regard.”

Asked whether France or the Springboks would be in the best position going into the match with South Africa having a match-free week, while France faced Italy last weekend, Davids said: “There’s always a fine line when it comes to whether the week off helps going into such a match or whether it’s better to go in with the momentum from a previous match. And I don’t think there is a right answer. In our case, we came off four straight matches, and it was good to give the players a few days off with their families and to recharge.”