Scotland skipper Jamie Ritchie has told his troops to enjoy the awesome challenge of taking on the world champion Springboks on the opening weekend of the World Cup.

Ahead of what is expected to be a ferocious back-row battle which will be key to defining the outcome of this contest, the 27-year-old blindside flanker insisted that Scotland will not allow themselves to be intimidated by their opponents’ ferocious power.

“This is what we have been building up to since the Six Nations finished, and even before that this is what we have been looking forward to,” said Ritchie. “We are excited to get going.

“Our motivation is completely internal. We have self-belief. We know that if we perform on the day, we can beat everyone in this group.

“For us, we have done well with an underdog tag but, to be honest, I don't think we need it. I firmly believe if we perform to the best of our abilities, we can win all the games in this group.

“I wouldn’t say we have changed our preparation too much. We have looked at them the same amount as we would any team. They have parts of their game that are their strengths and there is no hiding the fact they are the world champions and they got there for a reason, but we look for opportunity where we can.

“We expect them to put a huge amount of pressure on our attacking breakdown. We want to play quickly, we want to play the fastest rugby in the world, so a huge part of that breakdown battle is when we have the ball and making sure we negate the threat they pose there.

“If you can gain parity on your own ball and disrupt the opposition, you are going to stop them getting opportunities, so it is a massive part of the game.

“This is why we play the game,” he concluded. “These are the moments when you are a kid all of us strive towards and set our goals for, so it is important you enjoy these moments and you do look forward to them.

“If you let it become fear, the moment gets away from you. The most important thing in any environment is enjoying it and this has to be enjoyed. We are not paid to train, we are paid to play, so that is what we enjoy doing.”