South Africa have raised a few eyebrows after announcing their team to face Ireland in Paris this weekend.
The Springboks have elected to go for a 7-1 split on the substitue bench for the titanic Rugby World Cup clash. It is an unconventional move and some pundits have criticised the move for being against the spirit of the game.
South Africa could claim the number one ranking in World Rugby if they beat Ireland at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The game is scheduled to kick-off at 8pm GMT and will air on ITV in the UK.
New Zealand's Ben O'Keefe will be the referee for the titanic clash.
What is a 7-1 split in rugby?
The term 7-1 split refers to the number of forwards and backs a team has named on the bench. For the game against Ireland, the Springboks have named seven reserve fowards and just one back in experienced scrum-half Cobus Reinach.
South Africa have continously innovated when it comes to the use of substitues in international rugby. From the so-called 'bomb squad' replacement front row - to introducing the 6-2 split at the 2019 world cup.
The Springboks deployed the 7-1 split for the first time in final warm-up game against New Zealand at Twickenham. While the move gives South Africa the ability to replace almost all of their starting forward park - it does run the risk of leaving them vulnerable if a back picks up an injury.
Has a 7-1 split been used in Rugby World Cup before?
South Africa are set to be the first team to use a 7-1 split at the world cup. The Springboks introduced the 6-2 split at the 2019 word cup as part of the successful campaign which saw them lift the trophy in the final against England.
The ever-innovating South African side will takeit a step further by having seven forwards on their bench on Saturday night.