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McBryde wary of Springboks

Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde expects an in-form Wales pack to face a ferocious examination from world champions South Africa on Saturday.

The Wales forwards - especially their front five of Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Adam Jones, Bradley Davies and Alun-Wyn Jones - gave Australia a torrid time in Cardiff last weekend. Although the Wallabies triumphed 25-16, they owed victory to a world-class display by their backs and the turnover skills of flanker David Pocock.

"South Africa pose different threats. It is much more of a physical, direct threat, and we've got to tailor our approach in attack and defence to match them," said McBryde.

"Out of the three big southern hemisphere teams, perhaps they are the ones who have adapted slowest to the new interpretations of the law and the way the game has gone.

"I am sure they will have worked very hard behind the scenes to make up the ground lost, in the eyes of some, on New Zealand and Australia, and they will be looking to adapt their game likewise.

"It's the challenge up-front - we know they are going to be very tough at the set-piece.

"If we can build on last weekend's performance, match the intensity and look for that share of possession, then hopefully we can be a little bit more effective with it and ask some more questions of the opposition, defensively."

Wales coach Warren Gatland is due to name his team Thursday for the Springboks encounter, with one back-row change guaranteed.

Flanker Martyn Williams is expected to replace his injured Cardiff Blues colleague Sam Warburton, who could be sidelined for three weeks with a calf muscle injury. Elsewhere, full-back Lee Byrne and last season's Wales skipper Ryan Jones also look set to feature in the selection mix.

"Lee and Ryan took an active part in training (on Tuesday), so if they keep on going through the week they will be available for selection," added McBryde. "It's a big boost. We are not blessed with a great amount of depth, so to have two quality players to come back would be a big plus for us."


From Belfast Telegraph