Ireland v South Africa- International Test match preview
Last Updated: 10/11/12 1:20pm
Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip has stated a clear aim of giving "the Irish people something to cheer about," when his side take on the Springboks at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.
The No 8, who takes over from Paul O'Connell, is anticipating a tough match as a severely injury-hit Ireland head into the clash against South Africa.
Heaslip, who will captain Ireland for the first time, said: "South Africa are a very confrontational side and they don't make any bones about that.
"They got one over us last time. We don't like losing in our back garden. It will be a full house on Saturday and the place will be rocking."
With six first team players ruled out through injury, Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Kearney, Paul O'Connell, Rory Best, Stephen Ferris and Sean O'Brien, Declan Kidney has had to name a new-look XV as they look to end a run of four consecutive Test defeats.
Despite Ireland's weakened line-up, Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer is expecting a difficult, tight game for his team.
"I expect an unbelievable challenge from them," he added. "They are a well-balanced side and, even though they are missing a number of their more experienced players, their youngsters are good players."
With the first Test of the Springboks' northern hemisphere tour against a side that have beaten them three out of the last four occasions they've met in Dublin, the visitors are taking nothing for granted, even though they are slight favourites this weekend.
Meyer added: "I watched the games against New Zealand and they were, in a sense, unlucky in second Test. You don't go there and perform like that (Ireland only lost the first Test 22-19) if you're a bad team."
Meyer was forced to make a late change to his line-up when Tendai 'the Beast' Mtawarira was forced to withdraw after suffering heart palpitations. Former Leinster star CJ van der Linde comes in to the front row and current Leinster prop Heinke van der Merwe is drafted on to the bench.
Ireland: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Iain Henderson, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ronan O'Gara, 23 Fergus McFadden.
South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 CJ van der Linde.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Morné Steyn, 22 Juan de Jongh, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.