Jonathan Sexton says Irish must believe they can beat Springboks

Last Updated: 09/11/12 4:07pm

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Jonathan Sexton: Irish must believe they can topple Boks

Jonathan Sexton: Irish must believe they can topple Boks

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Jonathan Sexton has urged Ireland's new men to seize their chance in Saturday's match with South Africa in Dublin.

The Irish are without two Lions captains in Brian O'Driscoll and Paul O'Connell, plus Stephen Ferris, Rob Kearney, Rory Best and Sean O'Brien who are all out injured.

But Sexton says their replacements have to grasp their opportunity against the mighty has demanded his team-mates begin the process of transforming themselves into household names

"We have to believe that we're good enough," said the Leinster fly-half.

"We're obviously missing a lot of very good players throughout the team, but at some stage of their careers those guys that we're missing would have been the new kids on the block.

"It's time now for us to step up and start building the type of reputations those guys have. They developed those reputations by producing week-in, week-out for Ireland and hopefully we can start doing that now."

The Irish go into the match on the back of four straight defeats, including all three of their summer Tests with New Zealand.

They were smashed 60-0 in the third Test by the All Blacks and Sexton insists they have learned their lesson.

"We took a lot of positives from the first Test and then learnt a lot from the second," he said.

"In that third Test we made three mistakes and were 21-0 down, then we were chasing the game which is very dangerous when you're playing the All Blacks.

"They picked us off and we've learnt from that if we ever go behind again, we'll never chase it that hard.

"If we can be in it with 20 minutes to go, well anything can happen in Test rugby. We're concentrating on our performance against South Africa and trying to get things right when we have the ball."

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