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Inside Camp: Garry Ringrose On The Ireland-South Africa Rivalry

Back to full fitness after a frustrating injury-enforced absence, Garry Ringrose is ready to grasp the ‘unbelievably special’ opportunity to take on the reigning World champions on their home turf.

The Leinster centre started Ireland’s wins over South Africa in 2022 and 2023, with the latter one a 13-8 World Cup pool victory at the Stade de France, and winning a series on South African soil is a massive end-of-season carrot.

Speaking about the teams’ growing rivalry ahead of July’s two-match Test series, Ringrose said: “It’s an unbelievably special opportunity to play against the back-to-back World champions.

“Growing up seeing New Zealand win World Cups and you admired and tried to copy those players in some ways, and those groups, and then being on the receiving end of two South African teams (winning World Cups). It’s tough to take when you lose.

“But you’ve got to admire what they’ve done. To get the opportunity to challenge ourselves against them, it’s as good as it gets.

“The two games I’ve been involved in (2022 and 2023) have been so tight and the result has fallen on the most minute moments.

“Unbelievably special days to be a part of, but it doesn’t change how much respect, and how motivated we’ll be to prepare to try and do that again.”