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Aki, Furlong, Henshaw To Lead The Irish Side To Face The Springboks

  • June 18, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Aki, Furlong, Henshaw To Lead The Irish Side To Face The Springboks

Ireland coach Andy Farrell has named a 35-player squad, captained by Peter O’Mahony, for the upcoming summer tour to South Africa. O’Mahony takes the reins after the retirement of Johnny Sexton following last year’s Rugby World Cup.

The squad assembles at the IRFU High Performance Centre in Dublin on Thursday to prepare for the two-Test series against the Springboks. They depart for Johannesburg on Tuesday, June 25th.

Farrell included three uncapped players: Leinster duo Jamie Osborne and Sam Prendergast, and Ulster’s Cormac Izuchukwu.

The tour opens against the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on 6 July. The second Test is a week later at Hollywoodbets Kings Park in Durban on 13 July.

“Travelling to South Africa to play a Test Series against the defending world champions provides no greater test for us, and it is another valuable opportunity for us to further grow and develop from the Guinness Six Nations,” said Farrell.

Ireland captain O’Mahony added: “I am proud to be asked to lead Ireland in South Africa, a country which provides one of the toughest challenges in world rugby. 

“As reigning world champions, South Africa will provide the sternest of tests and we know that we will have to perform at a high level to get the results we want. There’s a lot of respect and familiarity between both countries in recent years at international and Club levels, since they were invited to join the URC and European Cup competitions, and we know the challenge that awaits.” 

The Tests hold extra significance after Ireland’s 8-13 victory over South Africa in the Rugby World Cup pool stages. However, Ireland fell to New Zealand in the quarterfinals, while the Springboks went on to win their third World Cup title with a narrow 11-12 victory over the All Blacks.

Some Irish media questioned the Springboks’ World Cup win, sparking some pre-series banter between the teams.

This series will feature the top two ranked teams in the world: number one South Africa and number two Ireland.

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