South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber has announced his 23-man match-day squad to face Ireland in Saint-Denis on Saturday, with the starting XV the same as for the Boks' opening Rugby World Cup 2023 match against Scotland, with the exception of injured hooker Malcolm Marx.

1 Steven Kitshoff 
2 Mbongeni Mbonambi
3 Frans Malherbe
4 Eben Etzebeth
5 Franco Mostert
6 Siya Kolisi (c)
7 Pieter-Steph du Toit
8 Jasper Wiese
9 Faf de Klerk
10 Manie Libbok
11 Cheslin Kolbe
12 Damian de Allende
13 Jesse Kriel
14 Kurt-Lee Arendse
15 Damian Willemse

16 Deon Fourie
17 Ox Nche
18 Trevor Nyakane
19 Jean Kleyn
20 RG Snyman
21 Marco van Staden
22 Kwagga Smith
23 Cobus Reinach

  • Head coach Jacques Nienaber has made 13 changes of personnel and one positional switch from the team that beat Romania 76-0 on Sunday. Hooker Mbongeni Mbonambi is the only player to wear the same jersey, while Damian Willemse reverts to full-back with Manie Libbok playing fly-half.
  • Eleven of the players who started South Africa’s 19-16 defeat by Ireland in Dublin in November 2022 have made this weekend’s run-on team.
  • Of the top 10 ranked teams, only New Zealand’s Mark Telea (2.9) averages more line-breaks per match in 2023 than Cheslin Kolbe (2.25).
  • Kurt-Lee Arendse’s try in the last meeting with Ireland came in the middle of his record run of scoring in seven consecutive tests. No other Springbok has achieved this feat. Arendse has made it over the gainline 83 per cent of the time this year, a record matched only by Fiji’s injured fly-half Caleb Muntz when applied to the top 10 ranked teams.
  • With Faf de Klerk back in the number nine jersey, Cobus Reinach has to settle for a place on the bench after his hat-trick against Romania – the second quickest in Rugby World Cup history behind the record he set against Canada at RWC 2019.
  • Damian Willemse is the second most dominant ball carrier from the top 10 nations in 2023, with a 75% success rate. Springboks team-mate Marco van Staden, who is on the bench for the Ireland match, is just behind him in second (74%).