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Ireland injuries level tie: Meyer

SOUTH AFRICA boss Heyneke Meyer has claimed that Ireland's injury problems will level the playing field when the sides meet in nine days' time.

Meyer was quick to play down suggestions that Ireland would be weakened because skipper Brian O'Driscoll and hooker Rory Best will miss the match with the Springboks due to injury.

"It's a pity those guys are out, but we've lost our best players too," he said. "They are quality players and obviously you want to play against the best but it is a part of rugby at this stage.

"They've still got a quality and a very experienced team and it will be tough."

South Africa will use next month's tour of Britain and Ireland to give a young side the opportunity to experience northern hemisphere conditions in advance of the 2015 World Cup, Meyer revealed.

The heavy workload of the Boks in recent months has resulted in numerous injuries and as a result hookers Bismarck du Plessis and Tiaan Liebenberg, prop Coenie Oosthuizen, lock Andries Bekker, loose forwards Heinrich Brüssow, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Pierre Spies, Jacques Potgieter, fly-half Johan Goosen, centre Frans Steyn and wing Bryan Habana are all unavailable for the tour.

The 31-man squad, who will play Declan Kidney's Ireland on November 10 before taking on Scotland a week later and then England on November 24, total 625 test caps with captain Jean de Villiers the most experienced player on 81 Tests.