Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C
AAP/PA Images Springboks captain Siya Kolisi.
# Showdown
'This is a massive Test for us' - Boks arrive in Dublin ahead of Ireland clash
Sbu Nkosi and Marco van Staden have been left at home due to injuries.

THE SPRINGBOKS HAVE landed in Ireland without wing Sbu Nkosi and back row Marco van Staden after both picked up injuries playing for the Bulls in the URC yesterday.

With director of rugby Rassie Erasmus back after his World Rugby ban, the Springboks are targetting a big win against the world’s number one-ranked team, Andy Farrell’s Ireland, in Dublin on Saturday. These two sides will also meet in the pool stage of next year’s World Cup in France.

The Springboks haven’t played Ireland since 2017 when they were beaten 38-3 in Dublin.

Erasmus and head coach Jacques Nienaber have a 33-man squad on Irish soil after the decision to leave Nkosi and van Staden in South Africa to recover from their rib injuries, which require scans and further assessment. They may join the Springboks later for games against France, Italy, and England but will both miss the Irish clash, although they may not have even been involved if they were fit.

The South Africans had to deal with a five-hour flight delay on their journey to Ireland but they landed late last night, joining an 11-strong group of their European-based players who had gathered earlier on Sunday under assistant coach Felix Jones. Toulon’s Cheslin Kolbe was the last of the squad to arrive today, having played in the Top 14 last night.

While yesterday’s flight delay has resulted in the Boks changing their schedule for today, including cancelling a media session, they have continued with their plans to train ahead of the Ireland clash.

The Boks will name their matchday 23 to face Ireland tomorrow, continuing their tradition of announcing their team early in the week.

“We were very fortunate that Felix joined the squad on Sunday as he had a golden opportunity to work with the DHL Stormers and overseas-based players on some detail while the rest of us were travelling,” said head coach Nienaber today.

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“We allowed the players additional recovery time on Monday morning to ensure that they are fresh when we take the field in our afternoon training session so we can leap straight into the thick of things.

“This is a massive Test for us as Ireland are the number one team in the world and we are also facing them in the pool stages of next year’s Rugby World Cup, so every minute of preparation time on and off the field counts.”

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