Etzebeth fit to lead Springboks in Dublin

Eben Etzebeth has been passed fit to lead South Africa against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

The stand-in captain suffered an ankle injury in training, but will be available to take on Joe Schmidt's men at the Aviva Stadium.

Allister Coetzee revealed that he will have a fully-fit squad to select from ahead of the Springboks' first Test of a tour that will also include clashes with France, Italy and Wales.

Coetzee has challenged his players to demonstrate the strides they have made as they aim to build momentum ahead of the World Cup in 2019.

"Our mindset is that it's not the end of year tour - this tour is about making sure we improve as a group and keep on growing as a team, while also staying on course with our 2019 plan." the Springboks head coach said.

"This is an important tour for us and our standard of play has to be at the level of our last match against New Zealand in Cape Town."

Coetzee is wary of the threat posed by British and Irish Lions duo Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray this weekend and wants to see his side win the "small battles" all over the park.

"They are really a top-class side with an experienced coaching team and quality players. There is no doubt we have to be at our best on Saturday." he added.

"Our ability to adapt to the conditions, and how we want to play, will be tested. I know that up here [in the northern hemisphere] there will be many contests, and the aerial bombardment will be one it.

"In that respect Ireland have a great weapon in their half-back pair as both are prolific kickers, and as a combination, they are world-class. It will be important to win the many small battles and our focus will be to improve execution in all departments."

 

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