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'Everyone is focussing on Wales' loss to Italy... we also lost to Italy'

By Rugby365
Pieter-Steph du Toit of South Africa tackles Giovanbattista Venditti during the international match between Italy v South Africa in 2016 (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

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Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids says his team is not reading too much into Wales’ last outing on a rugby field.

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It was back in March when Wales suffered a shock 21-22 defeat to Italy in Cardiff in the final round of the 2022 Six Nations.

The Welsh only recorded one win during that whole tournament and they finished second-last in the table.

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It’s those stats that are making them overwhelming underdogs for the three-Test series against the Boks.

However, ahead of Saturday’s first Test in Pretoria, Davids reminded the media of when the Boks hit rock bottom in 2016 and it involved a match against the Italians.

The Boks suffered a shock 18-20 defeat in Florence on their end-of-year tour that year, but a couple of years later the Boks turned things around and were crowned world champions.

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“I think everyone is focussing on Wales’ loss to Italy,” said Davids. “A couple of years ago we also lost against Italy.

“What we need to understand is that if you look at the Six Nations games Wales lost, they were actually right in it until the end.

“They are a competitive side and they play with a lot of passion and a lot of pride.”

Davids believes there are too many experienced players in the Welsh side to underestimate them.

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“They are in a situation now where they want to turn things around,” Davids explained. “They got experienced campaigners with Dan Biggar, Alun Wyn Jones and Josh Adams.

“They played for the British and Irish Lions and they have been here in South Africa before. They understand the environment and understand the way we do things.

“We are under no illusions that it is going to be a tough series.”

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