Cape Town - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has heaped praise on Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton ahead of their Test in Dublin on Saturday.
Sexton, 29, helped steer the British and Irish Lions to Test success in Australia last year, as well as Ireland's Six Nations title success earlier this year.
Meyer, in an interview with the independent.ie website, says he truly believes Sexton is "up there with the best" flyhalves in world rugby.
"He is a quality, quality player and what I like about him is he is big, he is a good defender, he is a greater attacker and the other thing I also like about him is he is a very good tactical kicker," said Meyer."If you look at the Six Nations, Ireland had the best scrum and lineout as well but the one thing I believe they were way ahead of the rest was their tactical kicking and the contestable kicking."
However, the Bok coach is confident that Sexton's opposite number - 20-year-old Handre Pollard - will be up to the test against the experienced Irishman.
Pollard will earn just his seventh Springbok cap on Saturday but he produced a performance beyond his years when the Boks beat the All Blacks 27-25 at Ellis Park last month.
Meyer says Pollard is a "special, special attacking player" and while his tactical and kicking game still needs work, the coach is not afraid of Pollard being overawed by the occasion.
He also lauded Pollard for his defensive and leadership strengths, and predicted he could be a future Springbok captain.
Kick-off for Saturday's clash at Aviva Stadium is scheduled for 19:30 (SA time).
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 JP Pietersen