South Africa take team selection risk for Ireland clash

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Lock Eben Etzebeth has been passed fit to play for South Africa against Ireland in their Rugby World Cup Pool B fixture in Paris as coach Jacques Nienaber has controversially opted for seven forwards and just one back on the bench.

Etzebeth, a major enforcer in the Springbok pack, had been struggling with a shoulder problem picked up in the 18-3 victory over Scotland, but will line up with Franco Mostert in the second row.

It is the same starting XV that defeated the Scots, bar Bongani Mbonambi at hooker as he replaces Malcolm Marx, who has since been ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury.

Deon Fourie and Marco van Staden – the latter of whom is normally a back-rower – are the replacement hooker options, while the Munster lock pairing of Jean Kleyn, a former Ireland international, and RG Snyman are also on the bench. Back-up scrum half Cobus Reinach is the only back among the eight replacements

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

Replacements: 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.