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Brian O'Driscoll on what he expects from the Boks in Dublin

By Iain Strachan
Jamie Heaslip and Damian de Allende playing for Ireland and South Africa

Brian O’Driscoll feels Ireland should expect a huge challenge in the first Test of the November internationals against South Africa.

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The Springboks finished third behind Australia and winners New Zealand in the Rugby Championship, drawing twice with the Wallabies and running the All Blacks close in the final match in Cape Town.

But they also suffered a crushing 57-0 loss to Steve Hansen’s world champions in Albany in September, as Allister Coetzee’s team continues to struggle for consistency.

Nevertheless, retired Ireland great O’Driscoll knows his countrymen must brace themselves for a physically demanding contest in Dublin on Saturday.  

“The Springboks are in a transitional period,” he told Omnisport.

“They’ve come off the back of a couple of big losses but they’re always powerful against Ireland. [They] take the game to them, they’re very physical. Very confrontational – the way they play their best rugby. 

“So, [we can] expect a huge challenge. Hopefully Ireland can continue with some of their good form they’ve shown over the last year to 18 months.” 

The Springboks won the series 2-1 when Ireland toured South Africa in June 2016.

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Turlough 4 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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