James Lowe wants to make a statement against 'scary' Springboks
Andy Farrell’s side have topped the world rankings for more than a year and registered 15 consecutive Test wins ahead of a pivotal Pool B showdown in Paris.
The Six Nations champions can secure a quarter-final spot with victory over the Springboks at a sold-out Stade de France.
Leinster wing Lowe is intent on delivering a statement performance following routine bonus-point victories over Romania and Tonga.
“Incrementally, I guess our games have gotten harder,” he said.
“After the first two Test matches, this week has been a whole new beast. It’s really where we’re going to find out where we are at.
“We think we are in a good place if we put ourselves on the front foot and hopefully on Saturday the performance will show that.
“To really put a statement on this competition is hopefully what we’re going to get and that will be reflected by the performance.
“Win or lose, if we put out a performance that we’re seriously proud of and can build on again, I don’t see why when it comes to the knockout matches we can’t keep improving.”
South Africa have a made a statement of intent by becoming the first nation to name seven forwards on the bench for a World Cup match.
Lowe insists the formidable Springboks are far more than just a physical threat and have “some freaks” in a dangerous backline.
The New Zealand-born player starts on Ireland’s left flank for the third match in a row and is wary of opposition wide men Kurt-Lee Arendse and Cheslin Kolbe.
“Obviously (they have some) very, very big men, but if you look at the backline, it’s scary enough,” said 31-year-old Lowe.
“You just look at the two wingers there. They are very similar players, great on their feet, great reads on D (defence), seriously brave for their size.
“I know we can expect them to kick the ball a lot, but ball in hand they have serious, serious individual threats.
“They have proven even in the first few games how good they are with ball in hand. We all know it. Yes they are physical but they have also got some freaks in the backline.”
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