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Wales v South Africa - Talking Points

Wales and South Africa collide in the first World Cup quarter-final at Twickenham on Saturday. Here Press Association Sport discusses five talking points heading into the match.


Warren Gatland subjected his players to a brutal review of their 15-6 defeat to Australia, focusing on their inability to score a try while hammering away at the line when the Wallabies had been reduced to 13 men for seven minutes. How will they respond if they are in the same position against South Africa?


Wales' advance into the quarter-finals has been nothing short of heroic given they were forced to battle their way out of the hardest pool in World Cup history while contending with a staggering injury list that has claimed nine backs. The Wallabies defeat was also gruelling. For how much longer can they swim against the tide?


Wales' scrum showed an improvement against Australia and it needed to as prior to the climax of their group campaign it had been poor. Gethin Jenkins returns at loosehead and there can be no margin for error against the mighty Springboks, who take pride in their set-piece.


Tyler Morgan was studying for his GCSEs when Wales were forging a path into the 2011 World Cup semi-finals and now he has been plunged into the midst of a titanic do-or-die clash with South Africa. Gatland has turned to the 20-year-old to answer his midfield injury crisis and the canny Kiwi is sure to know what buttons to push as Morgan, an outside centre, prepares to win his third cap.


Are South Africa genuine title contenders? Wales is the game when the tournament will find out. Having fallen victim to the biggest upset in rugby history by losing to Japan, the Springboks have responded by recording handsome victories over Samoa, Scotland and the USA. Momentum behind their challenge is building, but it is Wales who will offer the most reliable gauge of just how good they are.

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