Springboks name record-breaking team to play Ireland

Tue, Jul 9, 2024, 10:21 PM
Reuters
by Reuters
The Springboks have named their most experienced side ever to face Ireland. Photo: Getty Images
The Springboks have named their most experienced side ever to face Ireland. Photo: Getty Images

South Africa have named an unchanged matchday 23 for Saturday's second Test against Ireland in Durban.

The world champions lead the two-match series 1-0 following last weekend's 27-20 victory in Pretoria.

Tickets to the Wallabies 2024 Home Tests are available to purchase here.

Rassie Erasmus' starting XV - captained by flanker Siya Kolisi - is the most experienced in Springboks history with 990 caps combined, three more than the total won by the team which began last year's 12-11 Rugby World Cup final win over New Zealand.

"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.

Lock Eben Etzebeth will move closer to the Springbok record for most caps, held by former second-rower Victor Matfield with 127. Etzebeth will earn is 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.

Springboks (15-1): Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk, Kwagga Smith, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (capt), Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Gerhard Steenekamp, Vincent Koch, Salmaan Moerat, RG Snyman, Marco van Staden, Grant Williams, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

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