Ireland and Leinster flyhalf Johnny Sexton insists Declan Kidney's charges will need to be prepared for a physically demanding contest when they take on South Africa in the first of Ireland's autumn international Test matches at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday (5.30pm).
Despite a disappointing Rugby Championship campaign which saw them win just two games from six, the Springboks remain third in the IRB World Rankings with Ireland four teams lower on seventh.
Kidney's men will be looking to build some momentum ahead of the 6 Nations and bounce back from another crushing tour of New Zealand which saw the men in green fall to three straight defeats.
Sexton has fond memories of this fixture, having kicked Ireland to victory over South Africa in just his second appearance for his country back in 2009, but the Leinster man is aware of the threat their big opponents pose under new head coach Heyneke Meyer.
"They're so big and physical and they haven't changed, their new coach is even more down that line so we have to be ready for that confrontation," Sexton told IrishRugbyTV.
"They're big men so we're going to have to come with a plan how to move them around and also how to take them down when they've got the ball.
"It's a big challenge ahead of us, we're putting all our focus on the first game which is obviously South Africa and we're looking forward to it."
As the visiting team is entitled to wear their home strip in rugby, Saturday's fixture will mark the first outing of Ireland's new black alternate jersey.
While he doesn't expect the jersey to have a major bearing on the game, Sexton points out that black represents a colour the Springboks have often lost against.
"I suppose it's something different, I've never worn a black jersey before but it'll be one that we'll keep, a one-off.
"South Africa have lost to teams wearing back plenty of times with the All Blacks so we'll look forward to it and like I said it'll be something different."
After South Africa comes the challenge of Fiji who will take on an Irish XV side in Thomond Park on November 17 before the visit of old rivals Argentina to the Aviva on November 24.
With the likes of Brian O'Driscoll, Rory Best and Rob Kearney ruled out and a question mark over the fitness of Paul O'Connell, there will be an extra onus on Sexton to lead as one of the senior member of the squad and the St. Mary's College man is targeting a big game against the Springboks to build momentum for the remaining two games.
"At the moment (the objective) is just to win the first game. That's all we're thinking about at the moment.
"If we get off to a good start it will make the next two games that little bit easier, take the pressure off us a little bit so everything is geared towards South Africa and trying to get a good result there."