• ‘Ireland are formidable force’

    South Africa will rely on assistant-coach Adrian Birrell’s intimate knowledge of Ireland when the two teams meet in a World Cup pool match in Canberra on Tuesday.

    Birrell was Ireland’s coach from 2002 to 2007 and have worked with the majority of their players at national and junior level.

    ‘They have a strong culture and play an attractive brand of cricket,’ Birrell said in a statement.

    ‘They have a number of good players and since probably 2005 a lot of their players are county players playing cricket full-time, they are playing professionally.

    ‘In every World Cup they seem to beat a full-member team.’

    The Proteas last faced Ireland, who are captained by William Porterfield, at the 2011 World Cup where they won comfortably by 131 runs. However, Birrell believes they will be more formidable opposition this time around.

    ‘They bat long and deep. They know how to chase targets; four out of the top 10 World Cup chases are Ireland chases, three of them over 300 and two against full members.

    ‘We are fully aware of what they can do, I am probably more aware than most. We will be prepared come Tuesday.’

    The injured Vernon Philander and JP Duminy continue to receive physiotherapy rehab and treatment, and will be assessed before the gamer before a commitment is made on their availability.