Josh Strauss: Scots fit enough for World Cup run

Scotland's Josh Strauss. Picture: PA
Scotland's Josh Strauss. Picture: PA
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NEW Scotland cap Josh Strauss insists Vern Cotter’s men will not slump like Japan as they prepare for their second game in just five days.

The Brave Blossoms stunned South Africa on Sunday with their gung-ho approach in Brighton as they claimed a famous win.

But by Wednesday, Eddie Jones’ shock troops were running on empty and despite battling impressively for 40 minutes, ended up shipping five second-half tries as they lost 45-10 in Gloucester.

Now, though, it is up to the Dark Blues to prove they have the fitness reserves to last the pace as they also face up to a four-day turnaround ahead of their duel with the United States in Leeds on Sunday.

But Strauss told Press Association Sport: “Our conditioning staff are very good and they have got things in place for us to do to get the best results out of our recovery.

“We have already implemented a few aspects of that after the game with things like our warm-down.

“They have done all the research and know what they are doing. I don’t have the degree so I’ll just listen to what they tell me to do. We trust them completely.

“We’ve got the full 31-man squad to use and so long as we get the rest we need, we should be okay.”

READ MORE - Scotland 45-10 Japan: Scots blow away Brave Blossoms

Glasgow Warriors number eight Strauss was born and raised near Cape Town in South Africa but is now an honorary Scot.

He was given his first run-out off the bench against Japan just four days after passing the three-year residency requirements.

But now he has told Cotter he is ready to step up to the starting XV if required against the States at Elland Road.

“I don’t know what will happen for the game on Sunday. Vern hasn’t spoken to us about his thinking but obviously it would be brilliant to start,” he added.

“Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do it.

“It was brilliant to finally make my debut. There was a lot of hard work put in getting here.

“It felt like I was playing my first game all over again. I’ve been in the game a while but when you are younger and you play your first match, whatever the competition, it is all nerves.

“So I felt that again for the first time in a long time. But it was still special.”

Japan’s upset of the Springboks has blown Pool B wide open.

The Scots - who secured a bonus point after Mark Bennett ran in a double on top of scores from John Hardie, Tommy Seymour and Finn Russell - now top the group.

Japan boss Jones, though, still believes South Africa will come good when they take on Scotland in Newcastle a week on Saturday but Strauss insists his team are not looking any further than their Yorkshire face-off with the US.

He said: “It was good to start off with a win. Japan were brilliant. The score didn’t reflect how good they were. But we are happy to get through it. We put a lot of analysis into the game and it paid off for us.

“We had to deal with that outside influence with everyone talking about how well Japan did against South Africa. That created a little bit more pressure.

“But the main thing was to always keep the focus on ourselves and what we do. We had a plan that we’ve been working on for two months that we wanted to implement in this first game. Nothing changed from that - even after they beat South Africa.”