Japan are not satisfied by reaching their first World Cup quarter-final, says flanker Lappies Labuschagne.

The Brave Blossoms have been one of the stories of their home World Cup, topping Pool A to reach the knockout stages for the first time.

They play South Africa, who they upset in the 2015 World Cup, for a place in the last four on Sunday.

Labuschagne says they are “not planning to stop here” and will “keep on playing for each other and being one team”.

The 30-year-old is one of two members of the Japan squad to be born in South Africa but says Japan is his “new home”.

“I really love South Africa and the people there but I also love Japan and everyone here,” Labuschagne said. “This is our team. This has become our new home.

“We want to make everyone in Japan proud, everyone in this camp, this group, we’ve worked really hard to reach the goal we set up for ourselves.”

Japan’s win over South Africa four years ago was one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history but their coach Jamie Joseph says his side will not be drawing on the victory.

“In fact, I’ve been trying to forget about it for the last four years,” Joseph said. “Everyone talked about it, but we’re a different team, different players.”

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi came off the bench four years ago in Brighton and said it was a “very tough” defeat.

He said it had “stuck with” them until they beat the Brave Blossoms 41-7 in a warm-up to this World Cup.

“It’s something that we never want to go through again,” Kolisi said.

“But they are a much better team now, and it was good to play that game before the World Cup, just to get that monkey off our back.

“Now it’s a different game again. We are going to have to be at our best again, because they have really improved as a team – they are much better now than four years ago. So, we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Japan winger Kotaro Matsushima scored five tries in the pool stage, the joint most of any player, and Kolisi admitted he is an “awesome player” but said his side have nothing specific in place to counteract him.

“We have nothing specific to watch one person – their whole team have been doing well, and he’s getting great opportunities because the team are doing well with ball-in-hand,” Kolisi said.

BBC

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