The Latest: Small man, big role for Boks scrumhalf Jantjies

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Friday at the Rugby World Cup in Japan (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

Size doesn't matter much to Herschel Jantjies. The smallest member of the Springboks squad plays behind one of the biggest forward packs in the world. So he's got plenty of protection.

"I try not to think about size, because if I do, it's just going to put me in a negative mindset," the 160-centimeter (5-foot-3), 80-kilogram (176-pound) scrumhalf says. "I try to go in with everything I have. I play out of my heart, so my body shape or type will never matter to me.

"If you think about a guy running over you, he will eventually run over you. It's rugby, it's physical. You can't shy away from the physical stuff — You've just got to climb in there and embrace it."

Jantjies scored two tries on his test debut in the Rugby Championship win over Australia in July and has become the backup to Faf de Klerk as the Springboks No. 9.

He could have a big role to play, too, with the Springboks picking him among only two backs on the eight-man reserves bench for Sunday's Rugby World Cup semifinal against Wales.


11:45 a.m.

Wales recalled fit-again Jonathan Davies at center and selected Leigh Halfpenny in place of the injured Liam Williams at fullback for the Rugby World Cup semifinal against South Africa on Sunday.

Davies missed the 20-19 win over France in the quarterfinals because of a knee injury. He replaces Owen Watkin, who drops to the bench.

Liam Williams was ruled out of the tournament Friday after hurting his ankle in an accidental collision in training and his spot is taken by Halfpenny, who didn't make the 23-man matchday squad against France.

Ross Moriarty is selected at No. 8 following the tournament-ending hamstring injury sustained by Josh Navidi against France.


Wales team: Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Ross Moriarty, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright, Alun Wyn Jones, Jake Ball, Tomas Francis, Wyn Jones. Reserves: Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Aaron Shingler, Tomos Williams, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin


11:30 a.m.

Wales fullback Liam Williams has been ruled out of the rest of the Rugby World Cup because of an ankle injury, a huge blow for the team ahead of its semifinal match against South Africa on Sunday.

The Welsh Rugby Union says Williams sustained the injury in an accidental collision during training.

No replacement has been called up yet.

Williams is one of Wales' most dangerous runners in its back division.


7 a.m.

France lock Sébastien Vahaamahina has been banned for six games for elbowing Wales forward Aaron Wainwright in the head during the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.

Vahaamahina's red card in the second half proved to be a turning point in the game, with Wales taking advantage of the one-man advantage and rallying to win 20-19.

Because he retired from international rugby the following day, Vahaamahina's ban will be served at his club, Clermont Auvergne. He will be eligible to return to play on Dec. 16.

Vahaamahina appeared by videolink from France at the hearing and admitted to an act of foul play.


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