Boks expect an epic encounter with top-ranked Ireland

The Springboks have been in cruise control since the start of their Rugby World Cup campaign. However, the big test is in sight as they prepare for the number-one ranked team in the world, Ireland.

South Africa will battle it out against Pool B table leaders at the Stade de France at 9pm on Saturday night.

The Springboks return from a commanding victory against Romania when they demolished them 76-0 at the weekend.

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids said they were expecting an epic encounter against the Irish. He revealed that experienced lock Eben Etzebeth has been declared fit and will be considered for selection.

“They are well coached, and have a good attack and defensive system, so we must be on par in all departments of our game if we want to get a good result this weekend,” Davids told SA rugby media.

“We said initially that Eben would be out for seven to 10 days, and he has recovered well and is reacting well to training, so he’ll be up for selection.”

Etzebeth was ruled out of last week’s match against the Romanians due to a knee injury he suffered 20 minutes into the opening clash against Scotland.

SA director of rugby Rassie Erasmus, who spent two years in Ireland coaching Munster, shared Davids’ sentiments.

“We know what we must do if we want to beat Ireland,” he said.

“We have to knuckle down and give everything because they have a good attacking and defensive game and technically, they are very sound.

“This game is very important for both teams. If things don’t go well for us, it makes the match against Tonga extremely important, and on the reverse side, if it doesn’t go well for Ireland then it makes their match against Scotland vital. So, we must improve in every game we play,” said Erasmus.

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