South Africa vs Ireland: Jamie Osborne earns debut cap in Test opener versus Springboks | Rugby Union News | Sky Sports

South Africa vs Ireland: Jamie Osborne earns debut cap in Test opener versus Springboks | Rugby Union News | Sky Sports

Leinster’s Jamie Osborne will make his international debut for Ireland in their first Test against South Africa on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

Osborne is joined in the Ireland back three by Calvin Nash and James Lowe, while Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw will start in the midfield.

Osborne may have started at full-back only twice for his province, but Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony has every confidence the 22-year-old can rise to the challenge against the world champions at Loftus Versfeld.

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“He has been very patient,” O’Mahony said. “The kid is pretty understanding and obviously has delivered incredibly well for Leinster over the last however many seasons.

“One of the lads presented him with his jersey and he said it was not as if it was when the cap was going to come for him. He is one of these guys who is just really cool, calm, who wants to learn.

“He is a top-class professional at an early age, so you [media] said people were shocked, but I don’t think anyone in our squad was shocked about it.

“Jamie has been in [the squad] a few times now and spent a lot of time with us. It just makes you more familiar with guys, more comfortable. You play for someone more when you know them better and he has been around long enough now to know us well enough for it to really matter to him.”

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Former South African international Bryan Habana previews Six Nations champions Ireland’s first Test match against World Cup winners South Africa in Pretoria

Elsewhere in the team, there is an all-Munster half-back pairing as Craig Casey and Jack Crowley are named at scrum-half and out-half respectively.

In the pack, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong start in the front row, with Joe McCarthy partnering Tadhg Tadhg Beirne in the engine room. O’Mahony captains the side at blindslide flanker, with Josh van der Flier at openside and Caelan Doris at No 8.

Head coach Andy Farrell has also included strong options on the bench, with Ronan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, James Ryan and Ryan Baird providing the forward reinforcements and Conor Murray, Ciaran Frawley and Garry Ringrose completing the squad.

Ireland and South Africa most recently met in the group stages of last year’s World Cup, with Ireland winning the brutally physical meeting in Paris but South Africa going on to have the last laugh as they clinched back-to-back World Cups.

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Ireland celebrate after winning the Six Nations in 2024 for the second-straight year

Ireland: 15 Jamie Osborne, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Craig Casey; 1 Andrew Porter, 2 Dan Sheehan, 3 Tadhg Furlong 4 Joe McCarthy, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 Caelan Doris.

Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham

…. to be continued
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