Match preview: Wales vs South Africa

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Jonathan Davies and Siya Kolisi, captain of Wales and South Africa respectively, in Cardiff on Saturday

Jonathan Davies and Siya Kolisi, captain of Wales and South Africa respectively, in Cardiff on Saturday

We look ahead to Saturday’s clash at Principality Stadium, in which Wales are aiming for their fifth consecutive home win over South Africa in Cardiff.

Wayne Pivac’s team opened their Autumn Nations Series campaign with a 54-16 loss to New Zealand Last weekend.

How will Wales fare without its captain?

Since being selected for his test debut against Argentina in Patagonia 15 years ago, Alun Wyn Jones has appeared in 149 of Wales’s 194 subsequent test matches, starting 138 of them.

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones is out with a shoulder injury and is likely to miss the 2022 Six Nations as well.

The 36-year-old’s performance consistency has rarely waned, and he was the captain of Wales in the last World Cup, while also holding the world record for most appearances in test matches.

Jones is now absent, however he missed the remainder of the Fall Nations Series and likely the entire 2022 Six Nations Championship after suffering a recurrence of his summer shoulder injury against New Zealand over the weekend. past requiring surgery. Wales must find a way to cope without him, especially on set pieces.

South Africa: a physical opponent like no other

The Springboks showcased on rugby union’s biggest stage, a World Cup final, the power and supremacy of the play that is a trademark of their game.

The Springboks focus intensely on the set-piece within Tests

The Springboks focus intensely on the set-piece within Tests

On that occasion in Yokohama, two years ago, England had no response to such dominance, and duly withered, suffering a 32-12 defeat.

South Africa will start with the same package against Wales that held the win over Rugby Championship opponents New Zealand last month, and while the home team knows exactly what is coming, a well-honed monster, stopping it is a completely different proposition.

Home sweet home for Wales?

Wales have an impressive recent record at Principality Stadium, particularly against South Africa.

Wales' record at Principality Stadium is strong, losing just four of their last 21 events there

Wales’ record at Principality Stadium is strong, losing just four of their last 21 events there

After the Springboks won 16 straight home and away games at the expense of Wales between 2000 and 2014, the balance tipped slightly, with the Springboks losing in their last four visits to Cardiff and not having won in the Welsh capital for eight. years.

Against opponents across the board, Wales can reflect on just four losses in the last 21 events played on the pitch, notching 16 wins and a draw, having beaten England, Ireland, France and Australia, plus South Africa, during that. weather.

The return of Ellis Jenkins is to savor

Three years ago this month, Cardiff winger Jenkins played his final test match, against South Africa in Cardiff.

Wales' Ellis Jenkins to test return after three years absent following catastrophic knee injury

Wales’ Ellis Jenkins to test return after three years absent following catastrophic knee injury

On that occasion, he had a man of the match performance before cruelly sustaining a major knee injury in the final minutes that destroyed his dream of the 2019 World Cup.

He left him out of all rugby for 26 months, but Jenkins has been gradually making a comeback, winning the selection for the Wales fall team and then securing a starting spot when he reconnects with the Springboks. A special player who has overcome adversity.

Who is Bradley Roberts?

Not even the most erudite of Wales fans would have had the 25-year-old Ulster hooker on his radar, but head coach Pivac did.

Ulster hooker Bradley Roberts was a surprise call for the Wales team

Ulster hooker Bradley Roberts was a surprise call for the Wales team

Injuries sustained by squad whores Ken Owens and Elliot Dee sapped Welsh resources, with Kirby Myhill from Cardiff and then Roberts, who was born in South Africa but qualifies for Wales through his Ceredigion-born paternal grandmother.

Roberts, who is on the bench against South Africa, made his Ulster debut just a year ago, but Pivac said: “We see an exciting prospect. We see him on the offensive side of the game with a lot of skill and a lot of skill.” capacity. He has a good defensive brain. “

Team news

Welsh: 15 Johnny McNicholl; 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Jonathan Davies (c), 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Josh Adams; 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos Williams; 1 Rhys Carre, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Will Rowlands, 5 Adam Beard, 6 Ellis Jenkins, 7 Taine Basham, 8 Aaron Wainwright

Replacements: 16 Bradley Roberts, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 WillGriff John, 19 Ben Carter, 20 Seb Davies, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Liam Williams.

South Africa: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 1 Ox Nche, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Lood de Jager, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Kwagga Smith, 8 Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: 16 – Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn.

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