Home Sport Three reasons why Springbok fans should be excited for Ireland clash

Three reasons why Springbok fans should be excited for Ireland clash


Rugby correspondent Wynona Louw looks at three reasons why Springbok fans should be excited about this weekend’s blockbuster clash against Ireland in Dublin.

Evan Roos in action for the Springboks during the Test match against Wales at Free State Stadium. Picture: Shaun Roy, BackpagePix

Cape Town — The Springboks will meet Ireland in a blockbuster of a clash in Dublin on Saturday (kick-off 7.30pm), and it should be a sizzling hot one between the the teams in green.

It’s been quite a season for the No.1-ranked side, and the highlight so far would undoubtedly have been their historic series victory in New Zealand. But now they face a different challenge … so too, however, do the Boks.

The South Africans have gone for an exciting personnel blend for the End-of-Year Tour, and when it comes to the matchday squad we’ll see, there’s lots to look forward to, in terms of the playing group and beyond.

Here are three of them.

Kolbe at fullback

SA director Rassie Erasmus got fans amped when he entertained the possibility of giving Cheslin Kolbe a run at 15.

Kolbe, who last featured for the Boks against Wales in July before being ruled out of the Rugby Championship, has played all of his 20 Tests on the wing, but he’s no stranger to the No.15 jumper.

He was the Stormers’ ultimate entertainer from the back, so having Kolbe come in at 15 for the Boks wouldn’t be a tall ask, not at all.

“Cheslin (at fullback) … that’s also exciting,” Erasmus said when asked about the prospect.

“If a Kurt-Lee (Arendse) is fully on form and a (Makazole) Mapimpi is fully on form, and Damian (Willemse) is playing 10, then why not play Cheslin at 15?

“I’m not saying that’s going to happen, Kurt-Lee can also play at 15 for us, and there’s a few guys in the SA ‘A’ pool, but yes, he is a realistic option to play 15.”

Boks returning to their brilliant best

While the world champions got the better of Wales to clinch the Incoming Series 2-1, they haven’t been convincing — or consistent — enough this season.

They were erratic against Wales in July and also during the Rugby Championship, where they finished second.

Getting back to their brutal best and putting on display some of the attack we’ve seen from them, and doing so not only against Ireland but throughout the whole tour, is a salivating vision, especially with the Wolrd Cup one year away.

The Evan Roos factor

The only time the Stormers back-rower had the opportunity to take his barnstorming brilliance to the Test arena was against Wales in Bloemfontein.

Since then, Roos has been a notable omission from the Bok squad … until now.

With Duane Vermeulen absent from the group and Jasper Wiese having had time to show what he can do, there’s no better time to extend Roos the same opportunity.


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