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Boks' Du Plessis tips the Irish

THE World Cup final could be a victory for the green party.

Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis believes that South Africa's most likely opponents on October 23 will be Ireland, who have yet to make it even to a World Cup semi-final.

Du Plessis, brother of Bismarck, a qualified doctor and another articulate member of their much-maligned front-row club, said: "Ireland have won some important games over the past few years. When England were going for the Grand Slam in Dublin this year, Ireland beat them thoroughly.

"Wales and Ireland can win big games now. France have knocked out the All Blacks twice. They were big games, massive games.

"On Saturday, England were down and out against Scotland and dug deep enough to win it at the end. All four of those teams can win the big games. They have proved it over the previous 12 months and over history.

"All four teams have the ability to make it to the final."

And if you had to pick one? "Ireland look great. They have really played well and come up with some great rugby," he said.

Dragons will fire - Jones

WALES will not bow to the pressure of a World Cup quarter-final by retreating into their shell against Ireland on Saturday and will instead trust the attacking style that has served them so well in the tournament, fly-half Stephen Jones has said.

The Welsh have provided plenty of fireworks so far, scoring 180 points in the pool phase, second only to New Zealand's 240.

Their 23 tries was the third highest behind the All Blacks (36) and Australia (25) and they also posted the third highest score of the tournament in a 81-7 victory over Namibia in Pool D.

Pundits have pointed to the success of Australia, England and South Africa at the last three tournaments as examples of how playing "knock-out rugby" provided the platform to winning the Webb Ellis trophy.

Those tactics involved kicking for territory, building pressure inside the opponent's half, taking points when the chance comes, be it through penalties or drop goals, and defending like their lives depended upon it.

Jones, however, said that type of rugby did not sit right with Wales.

"That wouldn't be a good scenario for us," Jones said.

"What's important is that we go out and express ourselves."