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'Small margins': Rassie selects Andy Farrell's matchday squad

SPOTLIGHT: With just a few days before the Test between South Africa and Ireland in Pretoria, Rassie Erasmus has turned on the mind games.

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The Springbok head coach took to social media this weekend to try and get into Ireland head coach Andy Farrell’s head.

In a post on X, Erasmus predicted Ireland’s matchday squad for the first of two Tests between the sides in July.

Erasmus believes Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadgh Furlong will be Ireland’s starting front row with Joe McCarthy and Tadhg Beirne in the second row.

The Bok coach has Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris in Ireland’s back row.

With Jamison Gibson-Park ruled out with an injury, Erasmus is confident that Craig Casey will form a halfback combination with flyhalf Jack Crowley.

According to the Bok boss, Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose will fill the midfield roles, while the back three will consist of James Lowe, Calvin Nash and Jimmy O’Brien.

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Erasmus believes Farrell will opt for a six-two bench split between forwards and backs. However, he has bracketed Robbie Henshaw as an option if Ireland go for a five-three split.

The Bok coach also took some time to compare certain stats between the matchday squads ahead of the series.

And it seems Ireland will be the heavier team next weekend.

Erasmus also hinted at his selection after revealing that his matchday squad will have a total of 1,162 caps.

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After the first Test at Loftus Versfeld on July 6, the teams will meet again at Kings Park in Durban on July 13.

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In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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