Cotter: ‘Japan may throw SA game’

Date published: June 24 2015

Scotland boss Vern Cotter expects Japan to go easy in their opener against the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup.

Cotter's mind is already on the threat Japan will pose while his squad work away at their camp in the Pyrenees where Scotland's players have been working with French commandos.

Scotland are also pooled with the USA and Samoa, but Cotter's immediate focus is on the threat posed by Eddie Jones' side.

Japan will be Scotland's first fixture on September 26 in Birmingham, before facing the USA at Kingsholm four days later.

“We have to think about what Japan are doing now," Cotter told the Glasgow Evening Times.

"The Americans won't be far away in the amount of work they’re doing, and we have to do the same. We've got to be pushing ourselves. We can't become comfortable.

“Japan have openly said that they’re targeting us. They play South Africa first and they’ll probably throw that game away and look at us.

“So we can’t make any errors there: there’s no complacency whatsoever. It will be so important to focus on that one.

"The first two games will be critical.”