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Welsh rugby enveloped in its latest existential crisis

As Wayne Pivac teeters on the edge of finding new gainful employment after a series of disappointing results, the wider-lens story tells of dysfunction and frustration

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South Africa hotel evacuated at 4am, Boks 'mingle with clubbers' on street

By Rugby365
Elton Jantjies of the Springboks and Herschel Jantjies (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The Springboks did not get a peaceful sleep ahead of their clash against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

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The Boks were evacuated from their hotel twice overnight because of fire alarms. According to rugby commentator Matt Pearce the first fire alarm went off at 03.58 on Saturday morning.

“Hello from test match day in Cardiff,” Pearce said on social media. “At 03h58, a fire alarm in the team hotel, everyone evacuated for some forced mingling with departing night-clubbers on the pavement in the cold. 20 minutes later, back into hotel to go back to sleep. 07h20… repeat, [without the clubbers]!”

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Wayne Pivac gives an injury update on key Wales players
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Wayne Pivac gives an injury update on key Wales players

It’s far from the ideal preparation for a major Test match, especially given that the South Africans’ record in the Welsh capital is poor. They have lost four successive Tests in Cardiff since a 24-15 victory eight years ago.

However, the Springboks have knocked Wales out of the past two editions of the World Cup, with a 19-16 last-four win in Japan two years ago the prelude to their 32-12 victory against England in the final.

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South Africa will field a revamped backline featuring fullback Damian Willemse and winger Jesse Kriel against Wales at Principality Stadium.

“It is important to give Damian and Herschel game time to develop and measure themselves in starting roles,” coach Jacques Nienaber said on Tuesday.

“Jesse has also been training hard; he is very experienced a nd he brings the physicality that will be necessary a gainst Wales.”

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Wayne Pivac’s Wales team opened their Autumn Nations Series campaign with a 54-16 defeat against New Zealand last weekend.

SOUTH AFRICA: Damian Willemse, Jesse Kriel, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Herschel Jantjies; Duane Vermeulen, Kwagga Smith, Siya Kolisi (capt), Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Trevor Nyakane, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche. REPLACEMENTS: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franc o Mostert, Jasper Wiese, Cobus Reinach, Elton Jantjies, Frans Steyn.

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