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South Africa vs Ireland: Unchanged home team for second Test creates most experienced Springboks XV

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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.

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.

“It’s always tough facing Ireland,” said head coach 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.

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A beautiful solo try from James Lowe was controversially ruled out by the TMO.

“We have no doubt they’ll come out even stronger this week, but we also identified the areas of the game that we need to improve on and it’s vital for us to build on our performance in our quest to win both matches.

“This is going to be another physically gruelling match and just like us, they will be determined to correct the wrongs of last week.”

A late penalty try proved decisive at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, adding to scores from Springboks pair Kurt-Lee Arendse and Cheslin Kolbe.

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Cheslin Kolbe punished James Lowe’s mistake to finish off South Africa’s second try.

Fly-half Handre Pollard also kicked 10 points for the hosts, while Ireland responded through late tries from replacements Conor Murray and Ryan Baird following a first-half finish from debutant Jamie Osborne.

Speaking of his vastly experienced line-up, Erasmus added: “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.

“It is going to be another spectacle of top-class rugby.”

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk; 1 Ox Nche, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8 Kwagga Smith.

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 RG Snyman, 21 Marco van Staden, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

Watch South Africa against Ireland live on Saturday from 3.30pm on Sky Sports Mix and Main Event (4pm kick-off) Stream rugby’s summer internationals in 2024 and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership. No contract, cancel anytime.

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