• Home
  • /
  • Rugby
  • /
  • Ireland v South Africa: Andy Farrell Names Full-Strength Team For Crunch World Cup Clash

Ireland v South Africa: Andy Farrell Names Full-Strength Team For Crunch World Cup Clash

Ireland v South Africa: Andy Farrell Names Full-Strength Team For Crunch World Cup Clash
By Daniel Humphreys Updated
Share this article

Ireland have secured ten points and a healthy points difference from their first two games of the Rugby World Cup 2023. While the performances have impressed, many Irish fans will view this week as the benchmark as to whether Ireland can truly challenge to win the William Webb Ellis Cup.

As pool matches go, there isn't many as challenging as taking on the current world champions, South Africa. Here's all the details for the biggest game of Ireland's World Cup so far, including both matchday squads and starting XVs.

Team News

Ireland named their matchday 23 on Thursday afternoon, with Andy Farrell unsurprisingly fielding a full-strength team for the headline game of the World Cup group stages.

The major questions came over the fitness of Dan Sheehan and Jack Conan. Confirmation came on Wednesday that Conan would not recover in time to feature against the Springboks, but Farrell and Ireland have received a major boost with the return of Sheehan to the squad. He starts on the bench.


Elsewhere, Robbie Henshaw is once again on the bench with Garry Ringrose partnering the electric Bundee Aki in midfield, while Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan appear to have cemented their spots in the second row.

Farrell has not risen to South Africa's 7-1 split bench for the game, instead sticking with the tried and trusted 5-3 split. Jack Crowley provides cover for Johnny Sexton on the bench.

The Ireland team in full is:


15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster)
14. Mack Hansen (Connacht)
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster)
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht)
11. James Lowe (Leinster)
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster)
1. Andrew Porter (Leinster)
2. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster)
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster)
5. James Ryan (Leinster)
6. Peter O'Mahony (Munster)
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster)
8. Caelan Doris (Leinster)



16. Dan Sheehan (Leinster)
17. Dave Kilcoyne (Munster)
18. Finlay Bealham (Connacht)
19. Iain Henderson (Ulster)
20. Ryan Baird (Leinster)
21. Conor Murray (Munster)
22. Jack Crowley (Munster)
23. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster)


South Africa have named their 23 for Saturday's game, and have indeed once again utilised the contentious 7-1 bench split they deployed in their warm-up games.

Munster's RG Snyman and Jean Kleyn are both on the bench - four years on from Kleyn lining out for Ireland in the group stages of the 2019 tournament in Japan. Ex-Munster centre Damian de Allende starts, in a fearsome South African starting XV.

When is Ireland v South Africa?

Ireland face off against the Springboks on Saturday, 23rd September in the Stade de France, Saint Denis at 8pm (Irish time).


How to watch Ireland v South Africa

The game will be live on RTE in Ireland and ITV in the UK. The match will also be available live on both RTE player and ITVX.

Ireland v South Africa form guide

Both Ireland and South Africa have secured victories in their opening matches of this year's tournament. Both sides have beaten Romania by over 70 points. While Ireland have earned one more try bonus point than the Boks, after their 59-16 win over Tonga, South Africa secured an 18-3 victory in their opening pool game against a quality Scotland outfit. Ireland will be playing Scotland in their final pool game. It is a truly titanic clash with Ireland and South Africa ranked 1st and 2nd in the official world rankings, respectively.

For Ireland, an enormous bonus for Andy Farrell is the relative health of his squad. Finlay Bealham departing minutes into his appearance against Tonga after suffering a head injury, appears to be the only doubt for Ireland. This led to a close to 80 minute shift for Tadhg Furlong, Andy Farrell was quick to quash any anxieties around the effect this would have had on one of Ireland's key contributors. Dan Sheehan appears set to return to Andy Farrell's match day 23. A major concern, however, is his lack of game time in the last 6 weeks and whether he is ready for the enormous physical challenge that the Springboks present.

South Africa have not been so lucky on the injury front. Prior to even getting on the plane to France, they declared they would be without Lukanyo Am, Lood De Jäger and Handre Pollard in their initial 33 man squad. The most recent blow has been the loss of one of the best hookers in the world, Malcolm Marx, after an injury in training ruled him out of the remainder of the tournament. This enormous loss has allowed South Africa to recall the now fit Pollard to their squad.

On Monday, Rassie Erasmus has declared that Pollard won't be considered for selection against Ireland this weekend, while second row enforcer Eben Etzebeth is on track to return from an injury he sustained against the Scots in game 1.

SEE MORE: CJ Stander Has Nailed His Colours To The Mast Ahead Of Ireland Vs South Africa

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Share this article

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com