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Kidney ignoring Springboks slump


Declan Kidney

Declan Kidney

Declan Kidney

Declan Kidney insists Ireland have paid little attention to South Africa in the build-up to Saturday's clash in Dublin.

The Springboks are missing 13 players to injury and arrive in Europe having finished bottom of the Tri-Nations table with just one victory in six matches. But Kidney, Ireland's head coach, insists the fact South Africa have spent more time together in recent months will count in their favour.

"We're concentrating on ourselves but we know the way results have gone," he said. "They haven't been together for a month or so but in that time some of them have had games to get them in good condition. By and large they've been together for the last three or four months."

He added: "For us it's the first time we've been together since the summer tour so our job is to co-ordinate ourselves as much as possible.

"While we have been looking at South Africa, the crucial thing has been to concentrate on ourselves."

Kidney refuses to be encouraged by the Springboks' injury problems - especially while feared second row partners Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield are in action.

"They didn't have Bakkies Botha and Juan Smith playing last year and I wasn't too unhappy about that, but now they're back," said Kidney.

"They're a very strong outfit and it will be a big challenge.

"They have the most experienced second row combination in the world.

"Bakkies and Victor have enormous experience. If they're not the best, then they must be close to it."