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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Oisin Doherty

World Champions South Africa name side for Aviva Stadium clash with Ireland

Head coach Jacques Nienaber has named his South African side to face Ireland in the first of the November Tests at the Aviva Stadium this Saturday.

Cheslin Kolbe of Toulon is a surprise inclusion at fullback. The 29-year-old, who primarily plays as a winger for both club and country, is set to make his first international appearance since suffering a broken jaw in the third and final test against Wales back in July.

In total, Nienaber has made three changes to the starting XV which played against Argentina in the Rugby Championship in September. Damian Willemse comes in at fly-half for Francois Steyn, Kurt-lee Arendse replaces Canan Moodie, while the aforementioned Kolbe comes in for Willie le Roux.

READ MORE: Johnny Sexton talks down Ireland's world number one ranking ahead of Springboks clash

“We selected a team we believe contains the best combinations to counter the threats posed by Ireland,” Nienaber told the Springboks’ website.

“Damian has done well for us at fly-half, and he is continuing to grow as a player in that role, while we think Cheslin has the potential to add a new dimension to our game at full-back.

“He was sidelined for a while after breaking his jaw against Wales, but he has played four 80-minute matches for Toulon since returning to play, and we are confident that he will step up to the challenge.”

“Ireland are the top-ranked team in the world currently and they’ve shown in the past that they can be a force to be reckoned with in Dublin,” said Nienaber.

“Similarly to us, they will also view this as a vital clash with an eye on next year’s Rugby World Cup in France where we will cross paths in the pool stages.

“Obviously we are a long way out from the World Cup, but we have a limited number of matches left before the competition and the preparation doesn’t get better than playing a side we will face in the World Cup and the number one side in the world.”

South Africa team: C Kolbe (Toulon); K-L Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), J Kriel (Canon Eagles), D De Allende (Wild Knights), M Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks); D Willemse (DHL Stormers), J Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks); S Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), M Marx (Kubota Spears), F Malherbe (DHL Stormers), E Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks), L De Jager (Wild Knights), S Kolisi (Cell C Sharks, captain), P-S Du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Ja Wiese (Leicester Tigers).

Replacements: B Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks), O Nche (Cell C Sharks), V Koch (unattached), F Mostert (Honda Heat), D Fourie (DHL Stormers), K Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs), Faf De Klerk (Canon Eagles), Willie Le Roux (Toyota Verblitz).


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