South Africa name squad for second Ireland Test

South Africa Name Squad For Second Ireland Test
South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus during Tuesday's press conference. Photo: Inpho
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South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus has named the same match-day 23 for the second test against Ireland in Durban on Saturday, making it the most experienced Springbok selection chosen in the 133-year history of the team.

Erasmus made no changes to his starting XV from the side who claimed a 27-20 win over Ireland in the first test in Pretoria, and has kept faith with the same bench too.


The starting lineup have 990 test caps between them, edging ahead of the side for the 2023 Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand in Paris in October last year, which had 987.

"We don’t really look at such things when we select the team, but this shows how blessed we are with the depth in the squad and the quality of the players we have," Erasmus said.

"While it may be an impressive statistic, it will by no means guarantee us a victory. We know we must go out there and play good rugby for the full 80 minutes to get the desired result."

Handre Pollard retained his place at flyhalf despite a poor kicking game in the first test, and Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel become the all-time most used Springbok centre-pairing when they play together for the 30th time.


Flanker Siya Kolisi will captain the team and lock Eben Etzebeth moves closer to the Springbok record for most caps, held by former second-rower Victor Matfield with 127. Etzebeth will earn his 122nd in Durban.

"It’s always tough facing Ireland," said Erasmus. "They are a quality team, they are ranked second in the world, and as we saw last week, they never stop fighting, so we know the magnitude of the challenge that awaits us this weekend.

"We have no doubt they’ll come out even stronger this week."

Erasmus has again gone with a 6-2 split between forwards and backs on the bench, with the only three players who were not part of their last World Cup win among the replacements – prop Gerhard Steenekamp, lock Salmaan Moerat and utility back Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.


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