Boks wary of Wales threat

The Springboks are bracing for another tough encounter with a Wales side determined to rebound from a heavy defeat by New Zealand when the teams meet in Cardiff on Saturday.

Wales are coming into the game on the back of a 54-16 defeat by New Zealand at home last week. Wayne Pivac’s team are also experiencing something of an injury crisis, with captain Alun Wyn Jones joining a lengthy list of players either doubtful or ruled out for this weekend.

By contrast, the Springboks go into this Test off a 31-29 victory over the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship a month ago.

However, the Springboks have not won in Cardiff since 2013 and their last clash with Wales in the 2019 World Cup semi-final went down to the wire.

Assistant coach Deon Davids warned that Wales will be a tough side to beat.

“We are happy with the way we performed in the last game against New Zealand,” said Davids.

“They are always a tough competitor, and it will be important for us to carry on that momentum into our next game. We face Wales this weekend and we’ll take this tour match by match.

“It’s always tough coming here [to Cardiff]. We haven’t won here [since 2013] and the match against Wales in the Rugby World Cup was a hard grind, so our focus is on preparing as well as we can.”

Davids did not attach much significance to Wales’ defeat by the All Blacks this past weekend in the absence of a number of star players.

“When you are playing against one of the top two teams in the world, it will always be a tough game,” said Davids.

“Wales had a few injuries, which may have stopped their momentum, and over and above that the match was competitive for the first 60 minutes, so it could have gone either way.

“We know Wales will be up for this game and they’ll be very competitive, and we have to be up for it in all areas of the match.

“There are some players who played for the British & Irish Lions who will be back, such as [Louis] Rees-Zammit and [Taulupe] Faletau, and they have a lot of quality and experience up front and young players coming through as well.”

Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

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Dylan Jack