Ireland will become the third team to win a series in South Africa – after the All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions – if they beat the Springboks again on Saturday.
Ireland pulled off one of the shocks of the year last weekend when a 14 man (13 for 10 minutes) beat the Springboks in Cape Town.
The harsh reality of South African Rugby is that it has been on the slide for a while. Last year the Boks were beaten by a second string Argentina team at home in Durban and then there was that Japan match at the World Cup.
South Africa are going through a rebuilding phase but Ireland are too. Ireland are however a lot further down the track and also have the same coach and clearly last week Joe Schmidt had equipped his team with the better game plan for the match.
It was widely reported in the build up that new South African coach Allister Coetzee wants his players to play their instincts and favours a game played by the Chiefs in Super Rugby. There was little of that on show last week but the Springboks rarely lose back to back matches and even more rarely do they lose back to back matches at home.
After last week’s showing Coetzee has made five changes to the side for this week. Four of the five changes have been necessitated by injury and there are just two in the starting line up with Pieter-Steph du Toit and Elton Jantjies replacing Lood de Jager and Pat Lambie respectively.
On the replacements bench Lions duo of Franco Mostert and Ruan Combrinck could make their Test debut at their home ground. In the final change, Morne Steyn is added to the bench as flyhalf cover.
While there are not huge changes to the side the squad will have had a lot more time together so they will be a lot more familiar with playing together.
Ireland have also made five changes but they have included three uncapped players for this test in Johannesburg. Schmidt has included Quinn Roux, Sean Reidy and Tiernan O’Halloran for their first Ireland caps
Hooker Rory Best captains the side for the 11th time and is joined in the front row by Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong, who comes in for his first international start at tighthead, while Devin Toner is partnered in the second row by debutant Quinn Roux from Connacht.
Iain Henderson switches to the blindside flank, taking over from the suspended CJ Stander, and Rhys Ruddock comes in at openside for his first start since November 2014, with vice-captain Jamie Heaslip at number 8.
These two teams have never played in Johannesburg before and the only other time that they played at a similar altitude was in 1998 when they met in Pretoria and South Africa won 33-0.
Although Ireland accounted for South Africa with fewer players last week we expect the Springboks to be a different side this week. They will be more familiar and last week’s loss will have shocked them into action.
These teams have played 8 matches on South African soil and Ireland have won one. The average score when these teams meet in SA is : South Africa 26 Ireland 13
The Bookies have given Ireland an 11 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Springboks will be a lot better prepared this week and they will also have the benefit of playing at altitude. South Africa should win this by 5.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ (Sky), Aus (Fox Sports), SA (SuperSport) and in the UK on Sky Sports 3/HD.
Average score: South Africa 20 Ireland 13
Last five results
11 Jun 2016 South Africa v Ireland 20-26 Newlands, Cape Town
08 Nov 2014 South Africa v Ireland 15-29 Lansdowne Rd, Dublin
10 Nov 2012 South Africa v Ireland 16-12 Lansdowne Rd, Dublin
06 Nov 2010 South Africa v Ireland 23-21 Lansdowne Rd, Dublin
28 Nov 2009 South Africa v Ireland 10-15 Croke Park, Dublin
South Africa’s overall record against Ireland
Played 23 , Wins 16, Losses 6 , Draws 1
Date : Saturday 18 Jun 2016
Venue : Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick Off local: 17:00 local (15:00 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Ref 1:Glen Jackson (New Zealand),
Assistant Ref 2:Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
TMO : Jim Yuille (Scotland)
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Ruan Combrinck
15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Rhys Ruddock, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Sean Reidy, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Tiernan O’Halloran