Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip expects bruising Springboks test

Jamie Heaslip attempts to burst away from Victor Mayfield in the 2010 contest in Dublin


Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Saturday, 10 November
17:30 BST
Live on BBC TWO and HD and online; live commentary on BBC Radio Ulster medium wave

New captain Jamie Heaslip says Ireland are expecting a bruising contest with South Africa in Saturday's Test clash at the Aviva Stadium.

Heaslip will lead an injury-hit Ireland side as they aim to avenge the 2010 defeat by the Springboks in Dublin.

"South Africa are a confrontational side and they don't make any bones about that," said Heaslip.

"They try to run over you or through you with their forward pack and provide nice ball for their backs."

Heaslip added: "They got one over us last time and we don't like losing in our back garden.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Ireland flanker Chris Henry says he is looking forward to the physical challenge posed by South Africa in Dublin on Saturday.

"It will be a full house on Saturday and the place will be rocking. We want to give the Irish people something to cheer about."

Heaslip says he was "humbled" to be asked to lead the Irish by coach Declan Kidney after Brian O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell and Rory Best were all ruled out by injury.

"I was in Baggott Street (in Dublin) getting my mate an engagement card when I got the heads up from Declan about it," Heaslip said.

"I was in Tesco and I didn't know what to do with myself. I felt like going out and celebrating. It felt like my first cap again.

"It's great. I rang my parents straight away. I'm proud to lead this group."

Despite the absence of so many experienced players, Heaslip insists that the Irish won't lack leadership in Saturday's contest.

"Once we get onto the pitch everyone will be on automatic pilot because we have such great leaders within the team.

"It's talking after the dinner that's got me more nervous than anything else."

Hooker Richardt Strauss, born in South Africa but eligible for Ireland on residency grounds, makes his Test debut while full-back Simon Zebo makes his first start.

Uncapped forwards David Kilcoyne, Michael Bent and Iain Henderson are included on the bench.

Top Stories