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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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Wales to play Springboks and England in RWC warm-ups

By Ian Cameron
Joseph Dweba. (Photo by Charle Lombard/Gallo Images)

Both England and the Springboks will face off against Wales in 2023 as part of a series of Rugby World Cup warm-up matches to be staged in the Principality Stadium and Twickenham.

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South Africa and Wales faced off this summer in a tightly contested series in the Rainbow Nation and will meet again as both sides look to sharpen their swords ahead of the flagship tournament in France. Wayne Pivac’s mean will also play regular foes England twice – once in Cardiff and once in London.

A statement from the WRU reads: “Both England and the Springboks pay a visit to Principality Stadium in August as all the major powers in the world game begin their preparations for the showpiece tournament in earnest. Wales’ near-neighbours kick off the warm-up campaign for Wayne Pivac’s Wales with a visit to Cardiff on Saturday 5th August.

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“Pivac then takes his side on the road to Twickenham for the return fixture on Saturday 12th August before heading home again to host the ‘Boks on Saturday 19th August.”

Wales will be holding training camps in June and July. The games will be a final selection audition for players, as well as a last chance for Welsh fans to see the players on home soil before they take a tilt at the William Webb Ellis trophy.

“With less than a year to go until Rugby World Cup 2023 we have a clear programme set out for the squad in readiness for the tournament,” said Wales senior men’s head coach Wayne Pivac.

“I’m pleased we are able to confirm warm-up matches against England – home and away – and at home against South Africa as part of this.

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“These three matches are a key element of our final Rugby World Cup preparations and we look forward to seeing as many fans as possible at them before the squad departs for France.”

England head coach Eddie Jones said: “We’re very fortunate to have such a tough opponent in Wales and to play them both home and away, along with the atmosphere we always experience in Cardiff.

“It will be great preparation for the squad.”

South Africa, who beat Wales in the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup in Japan, will visit the Principality Stadium on August 19.

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Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber said: “Wales have always proven to be tough competition for us and our results against them in the last few years are evidence of the quality of the side they are.

“The Rugby World Cup is one of the toughest competitions in the world, and you have to be at your best every week to reach the final, so it’s vital that we test ourselves against quality opposition in the lead-up to the competition.”

Tickets for the matches at Principality Stadium are expected to go on public sale in the New Year.

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