Cricket World Cup: South Africa aware of Ireland strength - Birrell

Ireland have beaten the West Indies and United Arab Emirates at the 2015 World Cup
Ireland have beaten the West Indies and United Arab Emirates at the 2015 World Cup
Cricket World Cup Pool B: South Africa v Ireland
Venue: Manuka Oval, Canberra Date: Tuesday, 3 March Start: 03:30 GMT
Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra & BBC Sport website, plus desktop, tablets, mobiles and app; live text commentary

Former Ireland coach Adrian Birrell says South Africa are fully aware of the threat Ireland will pose in Tuesday's World Cup match in Canberra.

Birrell is now assistant coach with the Proteas and his knowledge of the Irish should be valuable in the build-up.

The 54-year-old was in charge of the Irish at the 2007 World Cup when they reached the Super Eight stage.

"I am probably more aware of what they can do than most. We will be prepared come Tuesday," Birrell insisted.

"In every World Cup they seem to beat a full member team. They did that in 2007 when they beat Pakistan and Bangladesh and tied with Zimbabwe.

"There is the famous win at the 2011 World Cup against England and they have already beaten the West Indies here.

"We are taking them seriously, they are a good team.

"They have a number of good players, and since probably 2005 a lot of their players are county players playing cricket full-time."

Ireland are one of only three unbeaten teams at the World Cup, alongside India and New Zealand.

But they will be firm underdogs after South Africa pulverised the West Indies by 257 runs last time out on the back of AB de Villiers' supreme unbeaten 162 from 66 balls.

Listen to highlights from Test Match Special's and 5 live Sport's 2015 World Cup coverage.

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