Deon Fourie and Kwagga Smith have vital roles in helping the Springboks poach a victory over Ireland in Dublin on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
The two fetchers have been named on the bench as part of a six-two split between replacement forwards and backs for the Boks’ tour opener.
While the Springbok coaches have opted for a return to the famed Bomb Squad, they have resisted the urge to pair replacement lock Franco Mostert with behemoth loosies, instead fielding the more compact pair of poachers.
This is an interesting call as rain is predicted for Saturday morning in Dublin, which could make conditions greasy when the Test kicks off in the evening.
“We had a good look at Ireland and the challenges they pose to us,” Bok coach Jacques Nienaber said after announcing the team to play in Dublin.
“We feel the combination between Kwagga and Deon on the bench will serve us best in this game. Ireland are a dynamic team that likes quick ball. The breakdown is going to be a big focus point for both teams, so that combination is what we think will serve us the best.”
Smith was one of the standout players when the Springboks played three Tests against Scotland, Wales and England last year, while veteran Fourie has made an excellent start to his Test career this year, including a notable impact against Argentina in the Rugby Championship.
On the six-two split, Nienaber said: “We feel that this is going to give us the best advantage against Ireland. Some of Ireland’s strengths are their multiphased attack, their fitness and the speed at their breakdowns.”
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