HomeWorldSpringboks bracing themselves for 80-minute battle against Ireland

Springboks bracing themselves for 80-minute battle against Ireland

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The match marks the Boks’ second Test of the season – they defeated Wales 41-13 at Twickenham in London just over a week ago – and their first in the Castle Lager Incoming Series. Given the intense rivalry between the teams, it is expected to a nail-biter at a jam-packed Loftus Versfeld.

“Ireland have been playing good rugby for a few years now,” said Brown. “The Springboks have won the last two Rugby World Cups, whereas Ireland would have loved to do better in the World Cups.

“Both teams also believe they are the best in the world, which creates a big build up to what should be a great Test match.”

Brown, who took over the team’s attack following the departure of Felix Jones to England, was thrilled about the challenge: “This is one of the biggest matches for me. It’s a huge occasion. Loftus Versfeld is an intimidating ground and it’s exciting to face one of the best teams in the world there.”

Williams was equally wary of the threat Ireland posed, but he said the Boks were thrilled about the occasion.

“The vibe in the camp is very exciting and everyone is looking forward to the Test,” said Williams.

“We have no doubt Ireland will come out strongly. It’s going to be a fast game, and one that will require an 80-minute effort.”

Williams brushed off the banter in the media between the teams off the field, saying: “We pride ourselves on trying to win Test matches, so we don’t really dwell on who’s number one or two in the world. The Rugby World Cup is history, so our focus now is solely on doing well in this Test.”

Brown was pleased with the team’s preparation since their return from London and said the players who joined the group following their club commitments had settled in well.

Grant Williams takes the field against Wales in London.

“The players have been amazing,” said Brown.

“Last week was the first time we had everyone together in camp and they’ve really bought into what we want to do.

“The Springboks are always a tough team to play against because of their physicality and the way they try to dominate the set pieces, so if we can maintain that and evolve with our attack, I think we can do good things.”

Of the opportunity to work with Brown, a former All Black flyhalf, Williams said: “I’m still a younger player and learning, and with Tony here now there is even more learning. Two or three years ago we would have done things differently on attack, so we are certainly on track and building as a team.”

Former Test referee Jaco Peyper, who is with the Springbok squad in his capacity as national laws advisor, also described his experience as being a new member of the Springbok management team as exciting and said although his role was new, it would evolve with time.

“My role started with me spending time with the team management and the decision to build on the respect around refereeing as a team and around the world,” said Peyper.

“My job is mainly to help the coaching staff coach accurately with an eye on the key focus areas and to assist with the alignment following matches.

“It’s clear what World Rugby wants in terms of the guidelines they put in place, and as a team we would like to avoid conceding penalties, so the job will definitely get a bit more detailed as we go along.”

The match kicks off at 17h00 on Saturday and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

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