South Africa v Ireland: first rugby union Test – live

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If you need me to hype this one up, you haven’t been paying attention.

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But just in case, let’s set the table.

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It’s the back-to-back world champions against the back-to-back Six Nations winners. It’s the top two ranked teams on the planet backed by supporters who believe that their boys are the undisputed leaders in rugby. It’s Rassie Erasmus versus Andy Farrell. It’s Eben Etzebeth versus Tadgh Beirne. It’s Pieter-Steph du Toit up against Josh van der Flier. Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw against Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende. South African muscle and sense of mission against the craft and purpose of Ireland.

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They’re calling this a friendly but I assure you it’ll be ferocious!

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Ireland beat South Africa at the World Cup last year. In fact, they’ve beaten the Boks in their last three games and haven’t lost to them since 2016.

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What’s more, the discourse in the build up has teetered on the brink of nasty with players, past and present, amplifying the animosity that has organically developed.

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It’s all a bit of fun, of course, and is a consequence of the respect both outfits command. At the risk of veering into hyperbole, this is Test rugby at its best and Loftus Versfeld, a hostile arena at the best of times, is going to be frothing by the time the opening whistle sounds.

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I cannot wait!

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My name is Daniel/Dan. Do get in touch with an email.

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Kick off at 5pm in South Africa/4pm BST.

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Teams and updates to come.

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Key events

Preamble

Daniel Gallan

Daniel Gallan

If you need me to hype this one up, you haven’t been paying attention.

But just in case, let’s set the table.

It’s the back-to-back world champions against the back-to-back Six Nations winners. It’s the top two ranked teams on the planet backed by supporters who believe that their boys are the undisputed leaders in rugby. It’s Rassie Erasmus versus Andy Farrell. It’s Eben Etzebeth versus Tadgh Beirne. It’s Pieter-Steph du Toit up against Josh van der Flier. Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw against Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende. South African muscle and sense of mission against the craft and purpose of Ireland.

They’re calling this a friendly but I assure you it’ll be ferocious!

Ireland beat South Africa at the World Cup last year. In fact, they’ve beaten the Boks in their last three games and haven’t lost to them since 2016.

What’s more, the discourse in the build up has teetered on the brink of nasty with players, past and present, amplifying the animosity that has organically developed.

It’s all a bit of fun, of course, and is a consequence of the respect both outfits command. At the risk of veering into hyperbole, this is Test rugby at its best and Loftus Versfeld, a hostile arena at the best of times, is going to be frothing by the time the opening whistle sounds.

I cannot wait!

My name is Daniel/Dan. Do get in touch with an email.

Kick off at 5pm in South Africa/4pm BST.

Teams and updates to come.

The Guardian

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