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Uncategorised Rugby Rugby Championship Rugby World Cup Springboks

Erasmus Name Strong Side To Face Ireland

  • July 2, 2024
  • 2 min read
Erasmus Name Strong Side To Face Ireland

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has opted for an experienced lineup for their Castle Lager Incoming Series opener against Ireland this Saturday at Loftus Versfeld. The match promises to be a fierce battle between the world’s top two ranked teams.

The 23-man squad boasts 20 Rugby World Cup champions, including the entire starting lineup and five substitutes. Three players – prop Gerhard Steenekamp, lock Salmaan Moerat, and utility back Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu – haven’t participated in the recent World Cup win but join a squad featuring a more forward-heavy 6-2 bench split.

Twelve starters, comprising six forwards and six backs, were part of the victorious 2023 Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand (12-11). The remaining three starters (Willie le Roux, Kwagga Smith, and Ox Nche) featured as replacements in that final.

This selection reflects eight changes compared to the team that defeated Wales 41-13 ten days ago. Captain Siya Kolisi, Le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Handre Pollard, Marco van Staden, RG Snyman, and Steenekamp all return to the lineup.

Erasmus explains his selection:

“This is the team we believe will give us the impetus we need against Ireland, who are the second highest ranked team in the world,” said Erasmus.

“We are blessed to have a lot of depth in our squad, and we are in a fortunate position to have several Rugby World Cup-winners in our ranks who know what it takes to perform at the highest level and play against the best teams in the world.

“The fact that most of these guys have played together is a bonus for us, and most of them have faced Ireland before so they are well aware of the challenge that lies ahead, especially since we haven’t beaten them since 2016.”

While acknowledging the value of World Cup experience, Erasmus emphasizes the challenge ahead: “It’s great to be in such a position, and while it may serve as a mental boost, Ireland are a quality outfit and they’ll come out guns blazing. This is a new year for us with new systems in place, so while it certainly helps that most of the players have won a World Cup or two, this is a fresh chapter for us.”

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