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Ross Byrne: 'Everyone knows what South Africa offer'

Knowing how to stop the opposition and actually doing it are two very different things.

South Africa have expanded their gameplan since becoming world champions four years ago, but the platform for that attack is still laid by the forwards.

On their day, nobody can put their size, weight and power to better use than the Springboks, and how Ireland deal with that will go a long way to deciding their contest on Saturday.

It's been a largely positive 160 minutes from Ireland so far in France, with Saturday's 59-16 victory over Tonga following the previous trouncing of Romania, while aside from Finlay Bealham, they appear to have come through the opening games without serious injury.

The difference between playing the likes of Romania and Tonga, and taking on South Africa, is incomparable though and it will require Andy Farrell's side to considerably raise their game next Saturday.

There's plenty of familiarity between the sides. Ireland were 19-16 winners when the sides met in Dublin last November, and as Ross Byrne explains, the regular meetings with the South African franchises in the URC has removed some of the mystique around them.

That's only a small part of the battle though.

"We're probably used to playing them in the URC all the time," he said, after Ireland's win against Tonga in Nantes.

"But I think everyone knows what South Africa offer, so we’re all aware of what is going to be coming from them. It’s all about us putting in the best performance we can."

The 28-year-old came off the bench for the final 40 minutes of Saturday's victory, one of four players to have made their World Cup debuts in the second half.

It was a long overdue World Cup bow for Byrne, who missed out on selection four years ago at the expense of Joey