Japan full-back William Tupou is rumored to have suffered a concussion against Scotland last weekend – Ryohei Yamanaka, who started the rousing win against Ireland, wears the No 15 shirt instead.
Meanwhile tight-head prop Jiwon Koo is fit after a rib injury forced him off against Scotland, while forward Amanaki Mafi is restored to the bench. Inspirational captain Michael Leitch will lead the charge.
Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus has named six forwards on his bench replacements that suggest an attritional, power-based game plan. But with strike runners in the Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi class, they will surely be looking to play some rugby too.
Francois de Klerk is an influential scrum-half who evokes the memories of Fourie du Preez, the No 9 that did so much to steer them to the World Cup glory in 2007. At Fly-half the creative hands and thunderous boot of Handre Pollard will run show.
"The match 23 is probably our best – in-form, fit players," Erasmus said. “To nullify the space around the tight forwards, with the pace they have, and to play against our strengths, which is physical rugby, set phases, mauling, scrums. We will try to play the game at our pace – they will try to play the game at theirs. ”
They certainly will.
Japan: 15. Ryohei Yamanaka, 14. Kotaro Matsushima, 13. Timothy Lafaele, 12. Ryoto Nakamura, 11. Kenki Fukuoka, 10. Yu Tamura, 9. Yutaka Nagare, 8. Kazuki Himeno, 7. Pieter Labuschagne, 6. Michael Leitch ( captain), 5. James Moore, 4. Luke Thompson, 3. Koo Ji-won, 2. Shota Horie, 1. Keita Inagaki.
Replacements: 16. Atsushi Sakate, 17. Isileli Nakajima, 18. Asaeli Ai Valu, 19. Wimpie van der Walt, 20. Amanaki Lelei Mafi, 21. Fumiaki Tanaka, 22. Rikiya Matsuda, 23. Lomano Lava Lemeki.
South Africa: 15. Willie le Roux, 14. Cheslin Kolbe, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Lood de Jager, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. RG Snyman, 20. Franco Mostert, 21. Francois Louw, 22. Herschel Jantjies, 23. Frans Steyn.