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James relishing Boks showdown

Paul James has no doubt Wales are in prime physical and mental shape for their demanding World Cup opener against South Africa.

The Ospreys prop is set to make his tournament debut when Wales kick off Pool D at Wellington Regional Stadium next Sunday.

"It's exciting - I can't wait for it," said James, who has started all nine of Wales' Test matches this year. "We know they are going to be physical up front - that's the way they will target the game - but we are just sorting out our own plays and hoping that if we get them right we will be fine."

Key to Wales' victory bid against the reigning world champions will be a solid set-piece platform - an objective enhanced considerably by James' Ospreys front-row colleague Adam Jones returning from injury - and watertight discipline.

James added: "I think the scrum got better with every game during the warm-ups. We are going in the right direction.

"If we can match them up front and get some quick ball for our backs, then we have got quality behind the scrum to hopefully do a bit of damage.

"I think our fitness levels have shown in the last few games we've played in that we can keep going until the final whistle now, whereas maybe before we would have been blowing a little bit during the second half.

"Because you are fitter, you keep going and don't take short cuts. We are not being lazy. We are working hard on being disciplined, and it's starting to pay off.

"We are fitter and stronger from when we last played South Africa, and our penalty count is better. Hopefully, in this game we can put it all together."


From Belfast Telegraph