Boks gear up for Welsh visit

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Jacques Nienaber is bracing for a tough battle when the Springboks face Wales next week.Photo by Gallo Images
Jacques Nienaber is bracing for a tough battle when the Springboks face Wales next week.Photo by Gallo Images

SPRINGBOK coach Jacques Nienaber welcomed a mixed bag of happy and sad players to his Boks camp in Tshwane this week.

The sad ones were from the Bulls, who lost the Vodacom United Rugby Championship final to the Stormers in the rebranded competition at DHL Stadium on Saturday.

Nienaber is preparing the Boks for the three Test series against Wales that will kick off their season next month in Mzansi.

The Boks face Wales at Loftus Stadium on 2 July, then at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on 9 July and finish the series at DHL Stadium on 16 July in Cape Town.

“They have been with us now for one-and-a-half days, and obviously the Stormers guys came in camp with a smile on their faces, and the Bulls probably disappointed,” said Nienaber.

“Of course, I expected that as the final was such a closely contested game.”

Another player, who will arrive in Boks camp smiling, is Jasper Wiese, whose side Leicester Tigers beat his Boks teammate Vincent Koch’s Saracens in the Gallagher Premiership final also on Saturday.

Wiese, who was playing at number 8, had an impressive final scoring a try for Tigers and claiming the Man of the Match award.

The Springboks beat the Welsh in their last three matches including the 2019 World Cup semi-final in Japan. Wales had a poor Six Nations campaign finishing fifth after winning the competition in 2021.

However, Nienaber doesn’t think it will be easy.

“I expect a desperate Welsh side and not because of where they are I can’t give an opinion about their camp, but we have been desperate before in 2018So, I know how that feels. That’s what we’ll probably face,”. They’ll come well-prepared. They’ve had time in the build-up to this series.”

The Boks’ last match was painful, losing by one point against England in the final Test of the Autumn Nations Series in November.

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