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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/SYDNEY SESHIBEDI
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/SYDNEY SESHIBEDI

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is under no illusions as to the battle ahead for his side in their three home Tests against Wales in July and expects a “proper series” when they clash.    

Wales have never won a match in SA in 10 previous attempts, conceding on average more than 40 points per game, and are coming off a dismal 22-21 home loss to beleaguered Italy in their last Six Nations match in March.

That has led to suggestions it will be a one-sided contest against the Springboks, who are expected to be at full strength as they build towards defending their Rugby World Cup title in France in 2023.

But Nienaber says it would be foolish to write the Welsh off and with the luxury of a month for the tourists to prepare for the series under coach Wayne Pivac, he believes they will be well drilled and ready for the Bok challenge.

“They always bring a physical edge, and their set pieces are always well coached,” Nienaber told reporters on Wednesday.

“They are tactically smart and when they played us at the end of last year [in Cardiff] they had a good kicking game and pinned us in our half.

“It is always a scrappy affair and an arm-wrestle. They will bring pride and be willing to take it to the gutter if they must. They can also open it up when they want.

“It will be a tightly contested series. They know how we play and we have a pretty good idea of how they play.”

Wales last toured SA in 2014 when they lost a two-match series, though the second Test was narrowly won 31-30 by the home side.

This year’s matches will start in Pretoria on July 2, before fixtures on consecutive Saturdays after that in Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

Reuters

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