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Rory Best calls on Ireland to finish off Boks with historic win

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 18/06/2016

Taking aim: Rory Best wants Ireland to make history by recording back to back wins on South Africa soil
Taking aim: Rory Best wants Ireland to make history by recording back to back wins on South Africa soil

Ireland captain Rory Best says Ireland must seize the chance to make history in Ellis Park this afternoon.

After last week's dramatic win, they meet the Springboks for the second Test (4pm kick-off) knowing that another victory would catapult them into the elite company of sides who have won a series on South African soil but the skipper says nothing will come easy against wounded hosts.

"Motivation-wise, it's never an issue for us," Best said of a side that shows five changes from a week ago.

"If you talk to any international player, pulling on a Test jersey is special. We know, the same as last week, there's an opportunity to create history here.

"We took a step forward last week in terms of being the first team to (win in South Africa). Now, we have an opportunity to win a Test series which is unbelievably difficult to do.

"That's probably the big driver this week, that it's going to take a phenomenal performance to win here.

"There's a reason why so few teams come here and win a Test series and that's because it's hard to do.

"So for us it's about making sure that we get ourselves right, we do the same homework if not more homework than we did last week on the Springboks and we make sure that we're in a position (to win).

"We know the Springboks aren't going to hand history to us, we have to take it ourselves. That's going to be the tough challenge and I suppose that's the challenge that you're up for."

Having secured one of the side's most famous ever victories in Newlands seven days ago, today's contest will take place in the altitude of Johannesburg with Best relishing the challenge of going head-to-head with the Springboks in one of the sport's most iconic venues.

"It's a magnificent stadium," he said of the site of South Africa's 1995 World Cup victory.

"It really is what rugby stadiums should be about, you can just imagine what the atmosphere is going to be like out there.

"Look, it's going to be a massive test for us but it's one we're very much looking forward to.

"To come to South Africa and play the Springboks in Johannesburg it's up there as one of the toughest Test matches you'll face.

"We've been concentrating on how we can improve.

"We know the Springboks are going to come out and they're going to want to be better, but we also want to make sure that in this next game that we improve our own performance.

"We talked before the first game that we have beaten them before and that we know how to beat them but knowing how to beat them and actually doing that are two different things.

"We take confidence from what we achieved last week but we know that this is a different track, a different match and I'm sure we're going to face a different Springboks side as well."

In what is a full slate of international rugby, Ireland are not the only side chasing history this weekend.

After beating the Wallabies last week, England are hopeful of a first series win in Australia and know that victory would see them rise to second in the world rankings a mere eight months after crashing out of their own World Cup.

After a week when a largely second string team was walloped by the Chiefs, Warren Gatland would dearly love his Wales side to put in a positive showing against the All Blacks while Scotland also meet World Cup surprise package Japan this morning.

France and Argentina will tussle tomorrow night in Tucuman.

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