Kolisi, Etzebeth return to Boks squad ahead of tough Ireland clash

Springboks coach Jaques Nienaber has named his squad facing Ireland. Captain Siya Kolisi and experienced lock Eben Etzebeth form part of the starting 15.

Nienaber made 13 changes from the team that demolished Romania 76-0 at the weekend. He named a seven-one split in favour of the forwards on the replacements’ bench for their third Pool B encounter on Saturday.

Kolisi walks back into the team after being rested against Romania. Etzebeth has recovered from a shoulder injury that he picked up in their opening Rugby World Cup match against Scotland.

“Ireland are a quality team with a strong pack of forwards and talented backs, and they play with a lot of speed, so we know what we have to do to deliver a top-drawer performance for things to go our way,” Nienaber told SA rugby media.

“We faced them late last year and we’ve been keeping an eye on their performances this year, so everyone knows what we must do this weekend.

“We’re fortunate to have a match-fit squad and have been building depth and versatility for a while and believe this is the best combination for this match.

“We know it’s going to be a grind of a match and we know we need to pitch up physically and mentally. We also need to start with intensity and stay focused until the final whistle.

Nienaber said this is a massive game for both sides with an eye to progressing out of their pool, so they need to be extremely accurate in all areas of their game.

Springbok starting 15 to face Ireland:

Damian Willemse (utility back); Kurt-Lee Arendse (wing); Jesse Kriel (centre); Damian de Allende (centre); Cheslin Kolbe (wing); Manie Libbok (flyhalf); Faf de Klerk (scrumhalf); Jasper Wiese (No 8); Pieter-Steph du Toit (flanker); Siya Kolisi (flanker); Franco Mostert (lock); Eben Etzebeth (lock); Frans Malherbe (prop); Bongi Mbonambi (hooker); Steven Kitshoff (prop)


Deon Fourie (hooker); Ox Nche (prop); Trevor Nyakane (prop); Jean Kleyn (lock); RG Snyman (lock); Marco van Staden (wing); Kwagga Smith (wing); Cobus Reinach (scrumhalf)

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