South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber says he would have liked to name his starting side to face Scotland even earlier after announcing his starting XV two days before it was expected.

The Springboks face the Scots in Marseille on Sunday in a mouthwatering and high-stakes start to both sides’ Pool B campaigns.

Scottish fans were caught off guard on Wednesday when Nienaber’s 23-man matchday squad was confirmed 48 hours before the scheduled team announcement date of Friday.

While it was widely read as a sign of confidence in the Springboks camp, the head coach insisted the timing of the announcement will have little impact on how things unfold on the pitch.

“We announce our team very early in the week. The players know on the Monday already and we would probably like to announce it on a Monday if we could, but unfortunately my personal programme on a Monday is just too busy,” Nienaber explained.

“We get it out as quickly as possible. We don’t believe that it has any bearing on people knowing the team or not knowing the team.

“If you look at [documentary] ‘Chasing the Sun’ of the last World Cup, I don’t think there’s people who don’t know how we operate in the Springbok environment. We are as transparent as we can be.”

This will be Nienaber’s first World Cup as head coach of the national team, but his third overall after being a part of the Springboks staff in 2011 and 2015.

“A World Cup always has a vibe,” he said. “When I was part of my first World Cup in 2011 in New Zealand, that’s the thing that blew me away, was the whole excitement from the fans and the people streaming into the towns where you’re going to play.

“When we walked back from training on Thursday, there were South Africans sitting here in front, cheering. It’s nice to see the support flocking in and getting ready for the match. World Cups are always incredible.”