Springboks: Jacques Nienaber expects a strong challenge from ‘desperate’ Wales

Date published: June 22 2022 - Dylan Coetzee

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber expects a difficult challenge from an “extremely dangerous” Wales side in the three-match Test series next month.

The 49-year-old now has a near-complete squad after those involved in the United Rugby Championship final join the initial group of 17 players but still waits on the South Africa players involved in the Premiership final, as his side look to ramp up preparations for the series.

No walk-over

Pundits and media expect the South Africans to make light work of the Northern Hemisphere men, but Nienaber refuses to adopt that mindset.

The tactician believes because Wales has their backs to the wall and are “desperate”, it makes Wayne Pivac’s side a dangerous team to face.

“Wales have had a lot of preparation time before this series – they will be well-coached, well-prepared and desperate, and that makes them extremely dangerous,” Nienaber said.

“That is why they are going to be so dangerous.

“They will be a desperate Wales side, and I am saying that not because I am guessing what is going on in their camp right now, but because in 2018, we were in the same position.”

Given Nienaber’s mindset towards the challenge ahead, it seems unlikely for the coach to blood many of the squad’s newbies in the initial stages of the series. However, he believes everyone in the group must be up to speed in the event they need to step in.

“We obviously have a plan to manage players, but it can change very quickly as injuries inevitably arise,” he added.

“If there is an opportunity to blood someone, it will more than likely be determined by injuries.

“We just have to make sure all of the players are aligned,” Nienaber said. “A lot of the guys have been with us for nearly 40 Test matches, and those who are coming in must be quickly aligned, and that is the responsibility of both the coaches and the players.”

READ MORE: Wales: Wayne Pivac admits facing Springboks at altitude will be the ‘ultimate challenge’