Coach Peter de Villiers declared himself satisfied as the Springbok squad completed the South African leg of their preparations for the first Test on the end-of-year tour with a final training session at Hyde Park School on Wednesday morning.
“We have had our challenges with the number of injuries – particularly among the centres – but that’s not unusual in international rugby,” said de Villiers.
“The players have worked really hard and shown a great attitude in training and we now have to take that onto the field at the Aviva Stadium. But I’m satisfied with what we have achieved.
“Ireland have a good record against us in Dublin in recent years and will be waiting for us on Saturday, It’s a huge occasion for them, as they open their new stadium, and they’re going to throw everything at us. Nothing less than our best will be good enough.”
The Springboks play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 19h30 SA time) in a match to inaugurate the stadium’s opening, following its construction on the site of Lansdowne Road at a cost of R4bn.
It is the first of four Tests against the Home Unions with the Springboks taking on Wales (November 13), Scotland (November 20) and England (November 27) before concluding against the Barbarians at Twickenham on December 4.
Centre Jean de Villiers (groin) and looseforward Willem Alberts (calf) took no part in training on Wednesday but have not been ruled out of contention for selection on Saturday. Chiliboy Ralepelle has recovered from a bout of flu and took a full part in training for a second day.
Frans Steyn is on club duty in France with Racing Metro and will join the squad following the latest round of Top 14 matches.
“Four Tests on four Saturdays in unfamiliar conditions is as tough a challenge as the Vodacom Tri-Nations in its own way, but the squad is excited about the opportunity,” said De Villiers.
“We’ve got some senior players who have come back hungry to play and a number of new caps who also bring their enthusiasm and we’ve seen that in some good sessions on the training field this week.”
The Boks fly out from OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday evening and will arrive in the Irish capital of Dublin at 14h30 (SA time) on Thursday.