Saturday’s titanic Pool B showdown in Paris pits the world’s two top-ranked sides against each other as the reigning champions battle the Six Nations Grand Slam winners in front of a sold-out crowd.
It should be a bruising classic in store at the Stade de France as the tournament favourites go head to head for control of their group, though there is not too much to choose between likely quarter-final showdowns with either the hosts or New Zealand.
The Springboks kicked off their latest title defence by outmuscling Scotland and then hammering Romania, with Ireland also swatting aside the latter before smashing Tonga as veteran captain Johnny Sexton overtook the great Ronan O’Gara as his country’s leading points scorer of all time.
South Africa are three-time winners of the World Cup, while Ireland have never even made it through to the semi-finals. But they could boast a key psychological edge this weekend, having beaten the Boks in each of their last two encounters.
Where to watch South Africa vs Ireland
TV channel: In the UK, tonight’s game will be shown live and free to air on ITV1, with coverage starting at 7:15pm BST ahead of an 8pm kick-off.
Live stream: Fans can also watch the match for free online via the ITV website and ITVX app.
Live blog: Follow all the action tonight with Standard Sport’s dedicated live match blog.