Springboks vs Wales

Springboks vs Wales : South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus: “I think we have been under pressure to redeem ourselves for the last couple of years. We’ve been number five, six and seven in the world over the last three or four years and we’ve had some proper hidings against almost every team since 2015.

“We’ve lost to Italy, we’ve lost to Japan, we’ve been beaten by 57 points, 39-3 by Ireland. Some people have lost a lot of faith in us at different stages.

“We’ve got a different challenge which is to get respect back and so people start believing in us again. That was the pressure for us.

“Now we’re at the stage where we want to be number one in the world again. Now there is internal pressure and expectation and that’s different

Wales head coach Warren Gatland: “If we can make the World Cup final with the playing numbers we have got, it would be one hell of an achievement.

“It’s one step at a time. We have got a challenge on our hands on Sunday against a side that has been improving.

“I think they have definitely improved under Rassie in terms of going back to some of the things they are good at, their strengths.

“I am excited about it. I’m more looking forward to this game than I was last week, and more confident about this game than we probably were against France.”

South Africa will be without the electric Kolbe against Wales because of an ankle injury, which Erasmus admits is a “big blow”.

S’busiso Nkosi takes his place in the Springboks’ only change from the victory over Japan.

Wales have multiple injury woes of their own, with full-back Liam Williams and back-rower Josh Navidi ruled out for the rest of the tournament with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.

Leigh Halfpenny replaces Williams and Ross Moriarty comes in for Navidi, while centre Jonathan Davies returns having missed the quarter-final win over France with a knee problem.
Match stats
• Wales have won each of their past four test encounters with South Africa, after winning only two of their first 31 against them.

• South Africa’s most recent victory over Wales came in the quarter-finals at the 2015 World Cup. The Boks won the game on a 75th-minute Fourie du Preez try.

• South Africa won each of the previous two World Cup meetings between these countries, 17-16 in the pool phase at 2011 and 23-19 in the 2015 quarter-finals.

• South Africa and New Zealand are the only World Cup opponents Wales have only lost against.

• Following their quarter-final win over France, Wales were the only team in the World Cup who have won five matches.

• The only player to feature in all four recent Wales victories over South Africa is Cory Hill, who dropped out of this World Cup squad injured.

• Pieter-Steph du Toit, Steven Kitshoff and Elton Jantjies are the only Springboks to feature in all four recent defeats by Wales.

• No team in World Cup history has lost a match in a tournament and then gone on to win it. South Africa lost their opening fixture against New Zealand.

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