Rugby World Cup 2015: Richie Vernon keen to face South Africa

Richie Vernon in action against Italy
Vernon won the last of his 22 caps in the warm-up win against Italy in Turin
Rugby World Cup Pool B: South Africa v Scotland
Venue: St James' Park, Newcastle Date: Saturday, 3 October Kick-off: 16:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website

Scotland centre Richie Vernon is ready to stand up to the strength of South Africa on Saturday.

The 6ft 5in former back-rower is yet to feature at the World Cup but says he can provide some midfield steel for the Pool B showdown in Newcastle.

"When you play South Africa, you know they are going to take you on up front," he said. "They will try to batter and bruise you.

"If you can stand up to that, you have got a good chance."

Scotland can clinch a quarter-final slot with a win over the Springboks at St James' Park.

And Vern Cotter's side will be in confident mood after bonus-point victories against Japan and USA.

But South Africa are currently ranked fifth in the world and bounced back from their shock defeat against the Brave Blossoms to trounce Samoa.

"The Boks are certainly a really physical team, but that is something I believe I could bring to Scotland's game as well," said Vernon. "A bit of physicality and a bit of size.

"It's not up to me how much of a role I play, though."

Richie Vernon
Vernon is one of five players in the Scotland squad with previous World Cup experience

With Mark Bennett and Matt Scott impressing for Scotland in the opening two matches and Peter Horne also available, Vernon has not yet been included in a match-day 22 at the tournament.

"It's not been too hard sitting watching from the sidelines so far actually," explained the 28-year-old Glasgow Warriors star.

"I realised coming into this World Cup that we have a really competitive group of centres packed with guys playing really well.

"It's exciting to think we are just one win away from those quarter-finals.

"We have achieved our objectives so far getting those two bonus-point wins against two really tricky sides.

"We know South Africa will be a huge test, but the guys are just looking forward to it."

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