Picking An Ireland Team To Take On South Africa Next Month
Ireland will take on the South Africa, Fiji and Argentina at the Aviva Stadium next month.
Joe Schmidt turned to youth and inexperience during the summer as his Ireland side took on USA and Japan. With a number of his regulars away on Lions duty, the younger players were given a chance to shine.
Looking ahead to next month’s November series, most of that contingent is back, but will have one eye looking over their shoulder as we head into the first inter-pros of the season, followed by two weeks of European action.
Up first is a Springbok side who have struggled big time in the Rugby Championship. Schmidt and Ireland will be expecting to beat Allister Coetzee’s side, and here’s the team we reckon could start. Unfortunately we don’t think those young guns will get their shot agains the Boks and will have to wait for the Fiji or Argentina games.
Ireland team to take on South Africa
1. Jack McGrath
2. Sean Cronin
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Iain Henderson
5. Devin Toner
6. Peter O’Mahony (c)
7. Sean O’Brien
8. CJ Stander
9. Conor Murray
10. Johnny Sexton
11. Simon Zebo
12. Robbie Henshaw
13. Jared Payne
14. Keith Earls
15. Joey Carbery
The above really depends on how recoveries go over the next few weeks. Captain Rory Best is currently out with a hamstring injury, and doesn’t look like he’ll be ready, while Robbie Henshaw hopes to return this weekend.
Keith Earls hasn’t played this season, but is a favourite with Schmidt. He starred in the June series, and looks set to make his first start of the season against Leinster the weekend. Simon Zebo is likely to miss that game, but two good rounds of European rugby should bring him back into the fold.
Jared Payne is another man who’s yet to feature this season, but Les Kiss expects him back for the Connacht game. With Garry Ringrose out, Payne could find himself back at 13 for Ireland come November. Bundee Aki also looks set to debut, but likely won’t get a run against South Africa.
As far as the bench goes, it all depends once again how a lot of players come through the month. Expect Niall Scannell and Sean Cronin to be very close. Jack Conan should get a spot, while we expect Luke McGrath to edge out Kieran Marmion after his excellent start to the season.
2017 GUINNESS Series Fixtures:
IRELAND vs South Africa, Aviva Stadium
Saturday, November 11, kick-off 5.30pm
IRELAND vs Fiji, Aviva Stadium
Saturday, November 18, kick-off 5.30pm
IRELAND vs Argentina, Aviva Stadium
Saturday, November 25, kick-off 5.30pm