Is South Africa v Ireland on TV? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch first rugby Test

South Africa and Ireland collide in a mighty meeting as the pair kick off their two-match series in Pretoria.

The world champions are in action on home soil for the first time since securing back-to-back World Cup crowns in Paris last year, with a raucous reception at Loftus Versfeld expected.

A win over Wales at Twickenham ahead of this encounter showcased the Springboks’ depth but Rassie Erasmus is able to bring back yet more big guns for Ireland’s arrival on the Highveld.

Andy Farrell’s side have enjoyed recent superiority over their foes, though, including a pool stage victory at last year’s tournament in France. Here’s everything you need to know.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

When is South Africa vs Ireland?

The first Test is due to kick off at 4.05pm BST on Saturday 6 July at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

How can I watch it?

Viewers in the United Kingdom can watch the match live on Sky Sports Action, with coverage on the channel from 3.30pm BST. Subscribers can stream via Sky Go.

If you’re not a Sky customer, you can grab a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription.

Team news

With the Springboks’ European-based players back available, Rassie Erasmus returns Siya Kolisi and Handre Pollard to a starting South African side that includes 12 of the 15 starters from the World Cup final. Ox Nche, Kwagga Smith and Willie le Roux each came off the bench in Paris and are promoted. Gerhard Steenekamp is a new face among the six forwards on the bench — the loosehead enjoyed a strong season for the Bulls and is set for an international debut on familiar turf.

Andy Farrell hands a debut to Leinster’s Jamie Osborne at full-back in the absence of club colleague Hugo Keenan, who has joined up with the Ireland Sevens squad ahead of an Olympic medal bid in Paris. Scrum half Jamison Gibson-Park, meanwhile, is a major injury absentee, so Craig Casey gets the nod ahead of Conor Murray. A settled side elsewhere sees Jack Crowley continue at fly half after a solid Six Nations.


South Africa XV: 1 Ox Nche, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 3 Frans Malherbe; 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert; 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8 Kwagga Smith; 9 Faf de Klerk, 10 Handre Pollard; 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 12 Damian de Allende, 13 Jesse Kriel, 14 Cheslin Kolbe; 15 Willie le Roux.

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 RG Snyman, 21 Marco van Staden; 22 Grant Williams, 23 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

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

Replacements: 16 Ronan Kellher, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 James Ryan, 20 Ryan Baird; 21 Conor Murray, 22 Ciaran Frawley, 23 Garry Ringrose.


South Africa win 7/15

Draw 24/1

Ireland win 12/5


South Africa 20-17 Ireland

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