That was the unequivocal message from SA ‘A’ assistant coach Bafana Nhleko and team captain Thomas du Toit on the eve of their match against the Irish province at the new and sold out Pairc Ui Chaoimh in Cork on Thursday (kick-off 21h30 SA time).

Du Toit – one of 14 capped Springboks in the side – had a short stint with Munster six years ago and knows all about the passion and tradition of the side, and he warned his team-mates that cohesion will be paramount against a host team that also feature a number of internationals.

“This is a great opportunity for everyone in the team, to throw our names in the hat to play for the Springboks,” said Du Toit.

“Some of us have been there before and it’s everyone’s dream to be in the Bok squad, but we will have to find a balance between showcasing our talents and playing as a team. If we can win the match, everyone will look better, and we fully understand it.

“Munster won’t roll over, they have a great team and we’re expecting a wonderful game. We’re not going to be naïve, we know what this means to them and I’m sure Ireland’s victory over the Boks will give them some advantage, but this is a new game between new teams and all of us as very excited about this opportunity.”

Nhleko, who is also the Junior Springbok head coach, echoed these sentiments: “These guys understand that these games provide an opportunity for them to show the national coaches what they can do, and the message is that they must try and knock the Bok door down and make it difficult for the selectors to ignore them.

“But we need to work together if we want to be successful, and the players’ attitudes have been great – both the first-timers and the more experienced players. They have gone above and beyond this week to prepare for the game.

“We’re playing against a side with seven internationals and a few players who featured for Emerging Ireland recently and we will show them respect, but our first priority is to get the result, without complicating things for ourselves and get synergy in how we want to play.”

With adverse conditions predicted for Cork on Thursday night, with wind and rain expected, Du Toit said they will be ready.

“We trained in similar conditions this week, perhaps not quite as windy, but it’s the same for both teams and we are raring to go, and it will be up to both sides to roll with the punches best tomorrow night,” said Du Toit.

Nhleko added: “It will be important for us to keep our game plan simple as we only had two days to prepare, but the players know they can take their opportunities when presented – without going away from our strong set piece and kicking games, and strong defence.

“We know we’ll make mistakes, but we will try and the players will look for opportunities in the game. We know they are strong at the breakdowns, but our defensive system is good and that will help us in forcing turn-overs, not necessarily at the breakdown.

“Players such as Jean-Luc (du Preez) and Phepsi (Buthelezi) can be good on the ground, so too Thomas (du Toit), Joseph Dweba and Henco van Wyk.”

Nhleko also said he and his fellow SA ‘A’ assistant coaches, Joey Mongalo and Wian du Preez, enjoyed working with head coach Mzwandile Stick and the Springbok management in Dublin last week.

“Mzwandile has been phenomenal in leading us this week and it’s been a great privilege working with the Springbok coaches, to align with them and get good synergy,” said Nhleko.

“We were like kids in a candy store, but we took in a lot of information last week and it’s something we can definitely take forward with us, but working with this bunch of players is also very exciting.”