The teams for Saturdays Final Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth were announced earlier today.
Unfortunately Jared Payne has joined Robbie Henshaw on the injury list so there are two changes to the team that won the first test with Tiernan O’Halloran coming in for Payne and Stuart Olding replacing Henshaw. The only other change to the squad is Matt Healy usurping Craig Gilroy as back three replacement, which makes sense as O’Halloran will be more familiar with Healy’s plays.
When I first heard about Payne’s absence my initial thoughts were somewhat despairing but having gone through the lists below and on remembering the old mantra, “forwards win matches, backs decide by how much”, I sort of picked up again, buoyed by the fact that it’s the same set of forwards that outplayed their opponents so comprehensively two weeks ago – and this time there should be eight of them!
Yes I can imagine Ireland winning this one and winning it with something to spare. South Africa deployed their weapon of mass destruction, Ruan Combrinck, last week and his destructive running improved his team mates games by virtue of front foot ball. Ireland just need to find a way of stopping him and they need to find it pretty early in the game.
I suspect the answer lies in the hands of Luke Marshall and Andrew Trimble, in defence, and Keith Earls turning him in attack. If sucessful it will go a long way to deciding the outcome as I struggle t osee what else South Africa can offer.
The FRU Predicts. Having got the last two predictions in the wrong order 😯 I suspect that I’ll get this one right with a narrow but historic win for Ireland as the Irish pack come out on top.
|Willie le Roux||15||Tiernan O’Halloran|
|Ruan Combrinck||14||Andrew Trimble|
|Lionel Mapoe||13||Luke Marshall|
|Damian de Allende||12||Stuart Olding|
|JP Pietersen||11||Keith Earls|
|Elton Jantjies||10||Paddy Jackson|
|Faf de Klerk||9||Conor Murray|
|Tendai Mtawarira||1||Jack McGrath|
|Adriaan Strauss||2||Rory Best|
|Frans Malherbe||3||Mike Ross|
|Eben Etzebeth||4||Iain Henderson|
|Pieter-Steph du Toit||5||Devin Toner|
|Francois Louw||6||CJ Stander|
|Siya Kolisi||7||Jordi Murphy|
|Warren Whiteley||8||Jamie Heaslip|
|Bongi Mbonambi||16||Sean Cronin|
|Steven Kitshoff||17||Finlay Bealham|
|Julian Redelinghuys||18||Tadhg Furlong|
|Franco Mostert||19||Ultan Dillane|
|Jaco Kriel||20||Rhys Ruddock|
|Rudy Paige||21||Eoin Reddan|
|Morne Steyn||22||Ian Madigan|
|Lwazi Mvovo||23||Matt Healy|