Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Springboks admire ‘formidable’ Wales

Wales have beaten South Africa in five of the countries’ last six meetings.

Wales beat South Africa 20-11 in November 2018 (David Davies/PA)
Wales beat South Africa 20-11 in November 2018 (David Davies/PA)

By Andrew Baldock, PA Rugby Union Correspondent, Tokyo

South Africa assistant coach Matt Proudfoot has voiced his admiration for Wales’ “formidable” team ahead of Sunday’s World Cup semi-final between the two sides.

Rugby round up Newsletter

Game previews, plus expert insights and exclusive commentary from the Belfast Telegraph sports team.

The Springboks meet the reigning Six Nations champions in Yokohama following their quarter-final triumph over hosts Japan.

Wales have beaten South Africa in five of the countries’ last six meetings and won 20 from the last 23 games against all opponents.

bpanews_cfff00eb-65fd-40bd-b7fe-a61d5a3efa02_embedded247745959
(PA Graphics)

“They are a formidable side, an unbelievable rugby side,” Proudfoot said of Wales.

“They have great confidence in the way that they play.

“Wales play to their plan. The way they played against Australia was incredible.

“France had to risk it against them (in last Sunday’s quarter-final), and they did, but Wales still won. They are a very well-coached side.

“They are a fantastic defensive outfit, so they are a very formidable pack, and they have one of the most experienced Test captains (Alun Wyn Jones) around.

“That pack has been the heartbeat of a British and Irish Lions pack that’s been to New Zealand, so to go there and win a Test match you’ve got to be a formidable side.”

Proudfoot, meanwhile, is relishing the fact South Africa have a full squad to choose from following a run of losses at Wales’ hands.

“We’ve played three matches in Cardiff, and one in Washington DC, where we had to juggle the two teams because we had England the next weekend,” he added.

“So, it’s always been a tough ask. Most of the time, the Cardiff Test was outside the (autumn) Test window.

“So, it’s nice that it will be on neutral ground and we’ve got a full squad to pick from.

“That really bodes well for us – we’ve got the team we want, and we are on a neutral ground.

“I suppose they (Wales) can say the same thing, and now it’s two teams having a go at each other.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph