Wayne Pivac believes mental strength will be key for Wales to end winless record in South Africa | Rugby Union News


Wales have never won a Test against the Springboks on South African soil, losing all 10 to date – can they end that run this summer? Watch the opening Test live on Saturday July 2 from 3.30pm on Sky Sports Action

Last Updated: 27/06/22 1:50pm

Wayne Pivac is looking to lead Wales to a historic victory on South African soil

Wayne Pivac is looking to lead Wales to a historic victory on South African soil

Wales boss Wayne Pivac says that mental strength will be vital during a three-Test series against world champions South Africa, live on Sky Sports.

Just over three months after losing at home to Italy, Wales face the Springboks at altitude in Pretoria on Saturday. Games in Bloemfontein and Cape Town follow, all with Wales returning to a country where they have never toppled their hosts.

Ten previous Tests in South Africa all went the Springboks’ way – by an average scoreline of 41-14 – while Wales have only won four of the last 12 games against all opponents.

George North is among the players in the Wales squad

George North is among the players in the Wales squad

“Nobody likes finishing on a sour note with a poor performance,” Pivac said, reflecting on the 22-21 Guinness Six Nations loss to Italy in March. “It is a long time between drinks, as they say. For us, it is about making sure we reflect on that time wisely.

“From a mental point of view as well, where we apply ourselves, and we’ve got to be strong mentally to go to South Africa over three Test matches. We need to make sure that we give ourselves every opportunity.

“It is not just a physical game we’ve got to be able to counter, but it is also a mental game as well. We need to make sure we are up to that challenge. History says we that haven’t done well there (in South Africa), clearly.

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July 2, 2022, 3:30pm

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“We will be doing what we think we need to do to try to win the first Test, and then set ourselves up for a great series.”

Wales’ recent home record against South Africa is in stark contrast to their tour travails, having won four of the last five fixtures in Cardiff. Pivac knows his players must hit the ground running at Loftus Versfeld, where Wales’ three previous visits produced defeats to the tune of 96-13 (1998), 53-18 (2004) and 37-21 (2008).

Reflecting on home successes in the fixture, Pivac added: “I think in the past, Wales have had a very good kicking game. And they have had a very good defensive game and been able to negate some of the strengths South Africa bring.

“I think the key is on the day the only experience I had with the team against South Africa (last November) we had to make sure we could stop the lineout drive and try to stop the scrum penalties.

“You have also got to be good under the high ball. There is going to be a lot of kicking, a lot of clatter, and you have got to fight for everything in those areas of the game as well. Wales have been good at doing that. Hopefully, we will continue to be good at that, and that will put some pressure on them.

Wales were beaten 22-21 by Italy in Cardiff earlier this year

Wales were beaten 22-21 by Italy in Cardiff earlier this year

“We were embarrassed by that last performance (against Italy). There is no hiding from that. The players have spoken about it, management have spoken about it, and we are a better team than that.”

Bumper July of rugby on Sky Sports

As well as showing Wales in South Africa this summer, Sky Sports will show England’s three-Test tour of Australia, Ireland’s five-match tour of New Zealand and Scotland’s three-Test tour of Argentina.

Wednesday, June 29

Maori All Blacks vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 8am (kick off is at 8.05am)

Live International Rugby Union

June 29, 2022, 8:00am

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Saturday, July 2

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)

Saturday, July 9

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

Relive England's historic 3-0 win on their last tour to Australia six years ago.

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Relive England’s historic 3-0 win on their last tour to Australia six years ago.

Relive England’s historic 3-0 win on their last tour to Australia six years ago.

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)

Tuesday, July 12

Maori All Blacks vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 8am (kick off is at 8.05am)

Saturday, July 16

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)





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