Monday 9 December 2019

Best: We want to create something special

Ireland captain Rory Best Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ireland captain Rory Best Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Rory Best has warned his Ireland team-mates that they must produce a "massive performance" if they are to defeat the Springboks on South African soil for the first time.

Today is Ireland's first game in the Rainbow nation since 2004 and, while they have beaten the Boks on four of the teams' last six meetings in Dublin since, they are outsiders to win in Cape Town this afternoon.

"This is going to be tough," said Best. "There's a reason that no Ireland team has won in South Africa and that's because it's very hard to do. You need to produce a massive performance and that's what we are gearing towards.

"We can take confidence from the fact that we've beaten them in Dublin before but ultimately we have the chance to create something a bit special and to do that it's going to take a performance that's a bit special."

The Ulster skipper is backing his provincial colleague Paddy Jackson to step up to the plate when replacing Johnny Sexton.

"Paddy is a very good player," he said. "Of course he's going to be nervous. It's a massive game for all of us, potentially be an intimidating atmosphere to come into but that's why you play rugby.

"The nerves, this next 24 hours building into it. . . that's something that he hasn't experienced a lot. It's one of the biggest tests for him. I've no doubt that he'll stand up and deliver."

Meanwhile, Munster have confirmed that Anthony Foley will be responsible for the province's lineout and breakdown next season, despite holding the position of 'head coach'.

Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus is responsible for attack as Springbok defence coach Jacques Nienabar joins on a three-year deal, while Jerry Flannery remains as scrum coach and Felix Jones joins as 'technical coach'.

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