Rugby World Cup 2015: South Africa inspired by Spain footballers

Japan beat South Africa in Brighton on Saturday
Japan had not won in 18 Rugby World Cup matches before their win over the Springboks
Rugby World Cup: South Africa v Samoa
Venue: Villa Park Date: Saturday, 26 September
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus live coverage on the BBC Sport website.

South Africa hooker Bismarck du Plessis says his team have been drawing solace from Spain's 2010 triumph at football's World Cup after their own opening-match defeat against Japan on Saturday.

Spain lost to Switzerland in their first group game but triumphed in the final 25 days later to lift the trophy.

"We can see it's been done and we want to hang on to that hope and give hope for our nation," said Du Plessis, 31.

He added that finalists at the last two Rugby World Cups had also lost matches.

England were defeated 36-0 by South Africa in Pool A at the 2007 tournament, before running the Springboks close in a 15-6 defeat in the final.

Spain react to Gelson Fernandes goal
Spain recovered from losing to Switzerlang to lift their first World Cup in 2010

France lost to both New Zealand and Tonga in the group stages in 2011 but advanced and were only just edged out in the final by the All Blacks.

South Africa face Samoa on Saturday in their second group game and Du Plessis added that, after coach Heyneke Meyer's apology to their nation, the squad were now concentrating on ensuring their place in the knock-out stages.

"The loss to Japan is now in the past and we can only change the future," he added.

"We have to trust our own process, trust what the coach wants us to do."

After their encounter with Samoa, the Springboks play Scotland on 3 October and the United States on 7 October in their final two matches in Pool B.

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