Nienaber believes he picked the right squad to face Ireland challenges

Written by on 20 September, 2023

By Ayanda Nyuswa

Springboks coach Nienaber believes he has picked the right squad to front up to the challenges that Ireland will bring when they meet in their Pool B encounter of the Rugby World Cup at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday. The Boks mentor made 13 changes and one positional switch to the side that thrashed Romania 76-0, and opted for a 7/1 split between the forwards and backs on the bench for the first time in the tournament. Bongi Mbonambi and Damien Willemse are the only players who retained their starting positions from the Romania game, as we are going to see the return of most of the Bok players that defeated Scotland 18-3 in the tournament opener, including lock Eben Etzebeth who returns from a shoulder injury.

Cobus Reinach is the only recognised backine player who will provide cover on the bench with Kwagga Smith (with his experience in Sevens Rugby), also capable to slot into the backline should the need arise in the Boks clash against the number ranked side in the world. The Springboks used the 7/1 split in their record breaking 35-7 victory over the All Blacks in their final warm-up match for the World Cup, and Nienaber believes it is the right strategy to front up to the challenges the Irish will bring in their clash on Saturday.

Picture: Getty Images

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