World ranking: Fourth
Qualification: 2015 semi-finalists
Best result: Champions 1995, 2007
TAB odds: $5.50
Chances: The Springboks sprang a major surprise with their Rugby Championship win over the All Blacks in Wellington last year and went close to repeating that result at home soon after.
At their best, they are a big threat. They certainly have the talent, but struggle for consistency and look decidedly lacklustre whenever they venture north of the Equator.
Despite the obvious credentials of Dane Coles, Malcolm Marx holds the mantel as the world's best hooker. A brute around the park with ball in hand, Marx is also South Africa's best breakdown forward and a wall in defence.
Has been one of the standout forwards of the Springboks' unbeaten 2019. A ball-playing No.8 who is just as good on the blindside, Vermeulen is a big reason why South Africa are New Zealand's biggest threat to a three-peat.
The first black captain in Springboks history, Kolisi is a dynamic openside flanker with a power running game reminiscent of the great Michael Jones in his prime. Kolisi, Vermeulen and Pieter-Steph du Toit form a dynamic loose-forward trio as good as any in Japan.
Faf de Klerk is the undisputed No.1 halfback in the Springboks setup, but Jantijes offers an injection of excitement, speed and skill. Along with George Gregan's running game and Aaron Smith's pass, look for Jantijes to terrorise tiring defences.
The best No.10 on the planet right now, Pollard is the brains behind a powerful and talented South African backline that has run rampant over the likes of Australia, England and the All Blacks in the last 12 months. Pollard is also an accurate goal-kicker and he just might top the points standings come the end of the tournament.
Forwards: Schalk Brits, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, RG Snyman, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Francois Louw, Siya Kolisi, Kwagga Smith, Duane Vermeulen
Backs: Faf de Klerk, Herschel Jantjies, Cobus Reinach, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel, Frans Steyn, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Cheslin Kolbe, Warrick Gelant, Willie le Roux.
Pool draw (NZT)
New Zealand v South Africa, Yokohama City, 9:45pm (live updates)
South Africa v Namibia, Toyota City, 9:45pm
South Africa v Italy, Shizukoa Prefecture, 10:45pm (live updates)
South Africa v Canada, Kobe City, 11:15pm