The proposed South Africa v Ireland Test match, which the World Cup holders wanted to stage in the United Arab Emirates on November 1, is now highly unlikely to go ahead, according to Ireland team manager Paul McNaughton.
Speaking at Thursday’s coaching staff press conference in Cork, Paul McNaughton explained that the South Africa Test is ‘ninety percent certain not to go ahead’, meaning Ireland will stick with their regular November schedule of three home matches.
Declan Kidney’s first game as Ireland coach will be familiar surroundings as Canada visit Thomond Park on November 8, while New Zealand and Argentina will also take on the host nation at Croke Park on November 15 and 22 respectively.
McNaughton said: “We’re of the understanding that the South African Test is not going to go ahead. We keep on trying to get updates ourselves from the people who are trying to organise the game, including the people in the IRFU.
“Our understanding is that the game won’t be taking place but it’s not out the door yet. If it doesn’t go ahead, we don’t anticipate arranging another Test in its place.”