South Africa’s series against Ireland is the only series of the big three that is still alive and this third Test will take the result down to the wire.
The Springboks came from behind late last week and snatched victory from Ireland which leveled the series. There was however a lot more to that second half surge.
Much of the South African public might be thinking that the Boks finally got accustomed to playing together but it was a lot more to do with the replacements bench and the altitude as the match was played in Johannesburg.
When Ireland won the first Test coach Joe Schmidt immediately started targeting the Test in Port Elizabeth this week. Someone who is as shrewd a Schmidt will not have missed that England were beaten at altitude in 2012 but then drew in PE a week later.
Schmidt rested some of his stars for the second Test but has named a strong side for this week. CJ Stander is one of six changes for this week.
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has made two changes and started two of the stars that helped South Africa surge to victory last week. Coetzee has named Warren Whiteley (No 8) and Ruan Combrinck (wing) after they impressed last week when they came off the replacements bench.
South Africa still looked a long way off their best last week and this week they won’t have altitude to help them in the final quarter.
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 14
Last five results
Sat, 18 Jun 2016 South Africa v Ireland 32-26 Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Sat, 11 Jun 2016 South Africa v Ireland 20-26 Newlands, Cape Town
Sat, 08 Nov 2014 South Africa v Ireland 15-29 Lansdowne Rd, Dublin
Sat, 10 Nov 2012 South Africa v Ireland 16-12 Lansdowne Rd, Dublin
Sat, 06 Nov 2010 South Africa v Ireland 23-21 Lansdowne Rd, Dublin
South Africa’s overall record against Ireland
Played 24 , Wins 17, Losses 6 , Draws 1
Date : Saturday 25 June 2016
Venue : Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick Off local: 17.00
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant Ref 1:Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Ref 2:Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
TMO : Rowan Kitt (England)
15. Willie le Roux, 14. Ruan Combrinck , 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Damian De Allende , 11. JP Pietersen , 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Francois Louw , 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 4. Eben Etzebeth , 3. Frans Malherbe , 2. Adriaan Strauss (captain) , 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi , 17. Steven Kitshoff , 18. Julian Redelinghuys , 19. Franco Mostert , 20. Jaco Kriel , 21. Rudy Paige , 22. Morne Steyn , 23. Lwazi Mvovo
15. Tiernan O’Halloran , 14. Andrew Trimble, 13. Luke Marshall, 12. Stuart Olding, 11. Keith Earls, 10. Paddy Jackson, 9. Conor Murray,8. Jamie Heaslip ,7. Jordi Murphy, 6. CJ Stander, 5. Devin Toner , 4. Iain Henderson , 3. Mike Ross,2. Rory Best, 1. Jack McGrath
Replacements:16. Sean Cronin , 17. Finlay Bealham , 18. Tadhg Furlong , 19. Ultan Dillane , 20. Rhys Ruddock , 21. Eoin Reddan , 22. Ian Madigan, 23. Matt Healy *
* Denotes uncapped player at this level