Easterby says Ireland won't 'tinker' due to 7/1 split

Easterby says Ireland won't 'tinker' due to 7/1 split

Ireland's defence coach, Simon Easterby, has claimed that Ireland won't be baited into changing their team selection because of South Africa's decision to go with a 7/1 split this week.

South Africa's Jacques Nienaber named his side to play Ireland on Tuesday, and as many had speculated, they have gone with the famed 7/1 split that became synonymous with the Boks.

For those who don't know what the 7/1 split is, South Africa has gone with seven forwards and just one back on their bench.

A lot has been made about whether the 7/1 split is fair or not since the announcement, but Easterby has claimed that it's not something Ireland is concentrating on this weekend.

"We haven't tinkered with that split before, and there might be times where, due to injury or other reasons, we've thought about it," said Easterby.

"But I'd say we'll be fairly conventional in what we do at the weekend in terms of the split.

"It's not something we've taken a huge amount of time looking at. It's a talking point, but at the end of the day, it's their decision and strategy to go with that.

"Ours will be slightly different.

Ireland's team will be announced later today, and it's highly likely that the team will be more or less the same as the one that beat Tonga in game two of the tournament. Easterby has added that Ireland's game plan will be on their terms and not because of outside factors they cannot control.

"Obviously, they believe that's the way they need to set themselves up to beat us on Saturday, just like we'll be playing the way we want to beat South Africa," he added.

"I don't think it changes anything for us, to be honest.

"It's something for you guys to highlight or have a discussion over. What will determine it in the end is hindsight, which will allow everyone to say it was the right or wrong thing to do.

"Like I say, it's their strategy and not something that we can control."

Match Details:

  • Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023
  • Venue: Stade de France, Paris
  • Kick-off: 8:00 pm (9:00 pm local)
  • Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
  • TV Coverage: Live on ITV (UK) and RTÉ (ROI)