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Springboks looking for overdue win in Cardiff says Jesse Kriel

By PA
(Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Jesse Kriel will target an overdue Springboks win in Cardiff when world champions South Africa tackle Wales on Saturday.

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Kriel has started 37 of his 48 Tests as a centre, but he will feature on the wing this weekend in a team showing just three changes from the side that beat Rugby Championship opponents New Zealand last month.

Wales have won their last four home games against South Africa, with the Springboks not having toppled them in Cardiff for eight years.

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Jesse Kriel on the role in Springbok team against Wales
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Jesse Kriel on the role in Springbok team against Wales

Kriel played in the 2017 and 2018 encounters, scoring a try each time, but Wales still posted respective 24-22 and 20-11 victories.

“They were both close Tests, and we obviously know – it was a different (Wales) coaching staff back then – that they had a very simple game-plan that they executed really well.

“We just didn’t handle it as well as we should have in those two games, but it is obviously something that we are aware of and it’s something we have worked hard on.

“We have also come a long way as a team.”

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Despite being without injured World Cup winners Cheslin Kolbe and Faf de Klerk, South Africa will display enviable strength this weekend.

They field nine of the side that started the 2019 World Cup final against England, including five forwards, as they target an opening Autumn Nations Series victory before tackling Scotland and then England.

Kriel added: “It’s great to have the whole squad together and keep the continuity.

“Everyone is very excited about it. It’s not going to be easy – it will be a massive Test match.

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“Everyone does their analysis and we watch games, so you have always got an idea of what a team is going to bring and what their DNA is going into the game.

“But there is always that 20 per cent of what you don’t know they are going to bring.

“So it is just about focusing on our systems and doing things the way we want to – dominating the physical part of things – and the rest will sort itself out.”

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