Cape Town – South Africa ought to kick off their 2014
international season with a comfortable mini-series victory over Wales, says
former England and British and Irish Lions centre Jeremy Guscott.
Writing in his regular column on www.bbc.com,
Guscott said this week the Springboks should only stretch their impressive
record against the Scarlets (it currently stands at 25 wins and a draw from 27
encounters overall) in the June Test window clashes in Johannesburg and
He did give the Welsh some hope by suggesting the Six
Nations champions have not peaked.
“I’m convinced of that ... there are too many match-winners
in the team. (But) they have to improve their skill set and decision-making to
win these games against the top three (New Zealand, South Africa and Australia)
in the world.
“There’s still a big gap between New Zealand and South
Africa and the rest, despite the close scorelines in the matches that New
Zealand played against France, England and Ireland.
“The All Blacks demolished Ireland (last year) at home in
their three matches and are likely to do the same to England next (UK) summer
on current form. I also don’t see Wales having much joy in South Africa in
“England were the only team to beat a top-three southern
hemisphere team (Australia at Twickenham) this autumn; I would pick New Zealand
or South Africa to comfortably win a three-match series against any other
opposition – that’s how big I believe the gulf in class is.”
The Boks beat next year’s first foes Wales 24-15 at the
Millennium Stadium to open their recent unbeaten European tour.
Guscott picked only four northern hemisphere players in his
combined team of the major internationals played in Europe over the past few
weeks: six All Blacks cracked his nod although the only Boks he chose were Eben
Etzebeth and Tendai Mtawarira.
South African fans might well quibble, though, with
Guscott’s preference for French inside centre Wesley Fofana over Jean de
Villiers, and England’s Dylan Hartley at hooker ahead of Bismarck du Plessis
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