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Springboks: Franco Mostert makes World Cup claim about Ireland: Planet Rugby

Springboks second-row Franco Mostert believes the world champions need to be at their best if they are to secure a series win against Ireland in Durban on Saturday.

South Africa, the leading nation in the official World Rugby rankings, will be hoping to prove their superiority over Andy Farrell’s troops, who are ranked second internationally.

Important victory

The Springboks secured a 27-20 victory over Ireland at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria last week – their first win over the Emerald Islanders since 2016 – and Mostert feels only an outstanding performance will be enough to secure another victory.

“We certainly don’t think last week’s win was a situation where we got the monkey off our back,” Mostert said.

“They feel the same way we did at the Rugby World Cup and we saw what that first defeat did for us on the British & Irish Lions tour (in 2021). So they will come back stronger and it will be a good test for us.”

The 33-year-old said he is preparing for a big forward duel and cited breakdowns and turnovers as key areas where the Springboks need to improve this weekend.

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“They did a good job of stopping our mauls last week and they’re a team that doesn’t usually give away a lot of maul attempts. So hopefully we can come up with some plans this weekend,” he said.

“Faf (de Klerk) and Grant (Williams) came under pressure in the slumps, so as a team we need to improve in that area this weekend as well.”

Mostert also heaped praise on his much-vaunted ‘Bomb Squad’ who made a huge impact when they entered the fray early in the second half in Pretoria, particularly enabling the Boks to score a penalty try.

‘I get goosebumps’

“I get goosebumps when I think about it,” he said. “Coach Daan (Human – scrum coach) works so hard to make the scrums work well and it’s great to see the rewards.”

Despite being a valuable member of squads that won two consecutive World Cups and one of the most experienced players in the current Bok set-up, the 75-test veteran knows he cannot represent his country forever and is aware that head coach Rassie Erasmus is building a new squad ahead of the global showcase in Australia in 2027.

“Every player has their own personal goals and I personally plan to do that every year,” said the hard-working forward. “As long as my body can handle it, I’ll play until I’m no longer selected. But to play in three Rugby World Cups would be very special.”

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