Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde has warned that the Springboks will be “battle-hardened” ahead of Saturday's Test in Durban.
Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde believes the Springboks will be “battle-hardened” ahead of Saturday's Test in Durban.
Responding to fears in both the South African media and among Bok supporters that the squad could be worn out after a gruelling Super Rugby campaign, the ex-Wales hooker suggested that rather than “weary”, Heyneke Meyer's men would be right up to speed with Test match intensity.
“I wouldn't say they are battle weary, I would rather say they are battle hardened, which is a huge benefit,” McBryde told SuperSport.
“It is the reason that we recently played a trial match. We felt we needed to get the feel of some match intensity again as a team.
“The match that we have organised for Tuesday against the Southern Kings also represents a similar opportunity, with some players doubtless using it as an opportunity to try and force their way into the test match team.”
Though the Boks did not produce the stellar display against the World XV last weekend many hoped for, McBryde feels they offered Wales plenty food for thought.
“I think maybe the Boks were caught a bit cold at the start, but once they got into the game you could see what they are capable of,” added McBryde.
“They went back to what they know, with driving lineouts and the aerial game, but it's going to require a big step-up from us. They're very experienced and know what works for them.
“They're very confident in their scrum. It's become a very contested part of the game, and it's quite different in the Southern Hemisphere compared to the northern hemisphere. It is one area where we also have experience and hopefully we can use that to our advantage.
“Having said that, the Boks do have a juggernaut pack and they have added an extra player to add intensity in training.
“They are very smart up front, and the threat will come from their scrum and the driving maul, so we are going to have to be at our best in those areas.”