Boks expect test at the back

2014-11-25 14:38
John McFarland (Gallo)
Cape Town - Springbok defence coach John McFarland says he expects Wales to test their new back trio in Saturday's Test in Cardiff.

Willie le Roux is expected to start at fullback, but two new wings will feature for the Boks due to the unavailability of Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen.

Habana and Pietersen ply their trade for overseas clubs and because Saturday's Test falls outside World Rugby's Test window, they are unavailable for the clash.

McFarland spoke to the media in Cardiff on Tuesday and when asked if he thought Wales will opt for a kicking approach in behind the Bok defensive line, the coach responded: "I think they'll certainly test our back three. Obviously with Bryan and JP going, there will obviously be different wings. I wouldn't like to preempt and say who is playing, but I would expect them to target us there.

"They do kick contestable, they do kick high. (George) North and (Alex) Cuthbert do chase well. We know we're in for a test there, definitely."

Lwazi Mvovo and Cornal Hendricks are the two likely candidates to start at wing on Saturday, with versatile backs Damian de Allende, Francois Hougaard and Le Roux the other options.

Wales have failed to beat any of the southern hemisphere's big three in the last 22 attempts and have only won one in 27 games since Warren Gatland took over as coach in January 2008. Their only victory came six years ago against Australia and following defeats against the Wallabies and All Blacks this month, they would be desperate to beat South Africa.

But the Boks are also eager to finish their tour on a high. They started with a loss to Ireland but rebounded with wins over England and Italy.

“We are (also) desperate to beat them as well, believe me,” said McFarland.

Kick-off for Saturday's clash at the Millennium Stadium is scheduled for 16:30 (SA time).

Read more on:    springboks  |  wales  |  john mcfarland  |  rugby

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