Leinster full-back Rob Kearney has handed Ireland a boost by stating he expects to be fit to feature in their upcoming November internationals.
The 26-year-old British & Irish Lion has missed a significant chunk of the early season due to a back injury and faces a fitness test ahead of this weekend's RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Cardiff Blues, with a more likely scenario seeing him return to action at the Ospreys the following week.
Ireland head coach Declan Kidney will announce his squad on Wednesday, with Kearney confident he will be ready to face the Boks on November 10.
"In an ideal world, you would like to get a couple of games under your belt, but I'm not going to be too fazed by it," he told the Irish Independent.
"I came back into an international before the World Cup after being out for nine months and it went okay, so it is something I have done before.
"While ideally I'd be able to get a few games under my belt, if that's not the case then we don't live in a perfect world."