Wales eager to be ‘aggressors’ against Springboks as poor form ‘parked’ at Twickenham

Adam Kyriacou
Dewi Lake scoring for Wales against South Africa in 2022.

Dewi Lake scoring for Wales against South Africa in 2022.

Wales captain Dewi Lake has urged his side to “be the aggressors” against the world champion Springboks when the two nations collide at Twickenham on Saturday.

Many have given the Welsh little hope of defeating the back-to-back Rugby World Cup winners after the respective team selections from Warren Gatland and Rassie Erasmus.

Indeed Wales are rank outsiders with the bookmakers as a lack of experience and poor form count against them, with Gatland’s troops having lost their last six internationals.

Springboks heavy favourites

That has led to talk of a comfortable win for South Africa but hooker Lake wants his team to take the fixture by the scruff of the neck against the hugely physical Boks.

“You get into Test match rugby and you want to play the best. We are happy with the challenge this weekend,” he said.

“We are all excited to play, to get on the field and to face off against the best in the world because that is what you want to set yourself against.

“That (physical challenge) is why I fell in love with the game. I was never very good at touch rugby or sevens.

“You know with the pack South Africa have got and what they are known for is dominance and coming at you. I am relishing the opportunity to go toe to toe with them.

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“We want to be physical and we want to be in people’s faces and be in challenges. We are not going to shy away from that.”

After facing the Springboks, Wales will head to Australia for two internationals against the Wallabies and one versus the Reds as they look to enjoy a solid summer.

Breaking their losing streak will be imperative for Gatland’s side and Lake admits they must meet the responsibility head on, starting against the world champions.

“That is on us to change. It is not for me to speak on previous results – they are parked and in the past,” he stressed.

“It is what we do going forward, how do we change people’s perception of us and what do we want to look like as a group.

“It is about installing the winning habits and mindsets and believing in ourselves, because we can do it, and it is on us to show we can do it and put those results together.

“We understand the challenge we face from South Africa, and we are not ignoring that, but sometimes when you look too much into an opposition and delve too deep you forget about yourself.

Got to be the aggressors

“We need to focus on what threats are we going to bring, and we know we are a threat as well. So a lot of the key messages for us as a group will be around that.

“Expect a massive territory battle against them (South Africa), but you know the way they want to play the game is dominance up front with their pack. So, that is what we have got to match.

“We have just got to be the aggressors.”

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