12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Ireland coach Michael Bradley has named a side that shows four changes from their last international outing - the final game in the championship against England. One of those changes has been forced on Bradley by the withdrawal of John Lyne whose place in the front-row now goes to Jason Moran, (UCD).
The other changes in the pack sees John Muldoon (Galwegians) preferred to Niall Ronan (Lansdowne) in the back-row and Neil McComb Dundee (Highschool) coming into the second row in place of Shane O'Connor.
In the back-line, Glen Telford (Instonians) comes into the centre to partner Barry Murphy (UL Bohemians) with Keith Matthews (UL Bohemians) switching to the right wing which means Richard Lane (UCC) slips down to the bench.
Explaining the changes, manager David Haslett stresses it's very much a question of, "horses for courses because we feel we need a very strong physical presence for this game. For example, in the back row it was a case of two from three at six between Muldoon, Ronan and Potts, with John (Muldoon) getting the nod but I'd expect Niall (Ronan) will be called on at some stage.
The Ireland squad had a 45 minute run-out yesterday at the Oratory School which is located near their Reading hotel. They'll have a light exercise drill this morning before lunch at 11.45 and then set off on the 50 minute journey to the match venue at Iffley Road, Oxford.
Ireland U21 (v South Africa). Iffley Road, Oxford RFC, 3pm.
15. Tommy Bowe - Queens University 14. Keith Matthews - UL Bohemians 13. Barry Murphy - UL Bohemians 12. Glen Telford - Instonians 11. John Hearty - Blackrock College 10. Michael Rainey - Glasgow Hawks 9. Fiach O'Loughlin - Shannon 1. Jason Moran - UCD 2. Rory Best - Belfast Harlequins 3. Declan Fitzpatrick - Belfast Harlequins 4. David Gannon - UCD 5. Neil McComb - Dundee Highschool 6. John Muldoon - Galwegians 7. Ciaran Potts - St. Mary's College 8. Stephen Keogh - UCC Captain Replacements. 16. Kevin Corrigan - UCD 17. Eugene Mc Govern - Old Crescent 18. Simon Crawford - UCD 19. Niall Ronan - Lansdowne 20. Conor O'Loughlin - Buccaneers 21. David McAllister - Terenure College 22. Richard Lane - UCC.
South Africa. MJ Mentz; A Bock, B Ferreira, L Uys, B Buys; S Swart, E Januarie; JD Moller, D Britz, N Fullard, G Gilfillan, R Skeate, S Burger, H Haupt, J Cronte.
Referee - Rob Debney (Eng).