Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins has challenged his team to meet the Springboks head-on when the teams meet in Cardiff this weekend.
A third successive victory for Rob Howley’s charges would equal their best-ever end-of year campaign. But they face a wounded South Africa side who were beaten by Italy for the first time last weekend.
Wales ground-out a 12-6 victory over the Springboks the last time they met in Cardiff back in 2014, and the visitors will be without their influential lock Eben Etzebeth. And Jenkins has urged Wales to front-up.
“South Africa play an intimidating and physical brand of rugby,” he said.
“I have no doubt they will try and out-muscle us on Saturday, but we have to be ready for that. A lot of the boys have played against South Africa on many occasions and know what’s coming. We have to be ready physically and mentally on Saturday and try and impose our game on them. We have to make the right decisions with offloads, we scored when we got it right, but we were punished when we didn’t. There were a couple of times where we offloaded at the wrong moments but we also scored off a couple on Saturday, it’s all about balance.”
Wales caretaker coach Howley has been presented with a number of selection headaches for Saturday’s clash. The back-row battle will play a key role in determining who comes out on top, and Wales have been boosted by the news of Taulupe Faletau’s successful return to fitness.
The British and Irish Lions number eight played 55 minutes in Bath’s derby defeat of Bristol on Friday night and could return to the matchday 23.
And Jenkins is glad to see Faletau return to fitness.
“I think Toby’s a ridiculously good rugby player,” he added.
“Watching him in training, it doesn’t look like he has been out. He only played 55 minutes (for Bath) but he’s a class act, a world-class number eight, one of the best on the planet. For us to have him fit and back in the mix, and back training, is a fantastic addition to our squad.”