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The area of the game the Boks are going hard at this week

By PA
(Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

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South Africa assistant coach Deon Davids says that the Springboks’ kicking game is a targeted area for improvement against Wales next Saturday.

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The world champions won a thrilling first Test 32-29 in Pretoria, but only after Damian Willemse landed a penalty with the game’s final kick.

It preserved the Springboks’ unbeaten record against Wales on home soil, and the teams are now preparing to meet again in Bloemfontein.

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Jacques Nienaber on Damian Willemse
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Jacques Nienaber on Damian Willemse

“Luckily, everyone has recovered and are fit at this stage. We are ready to go,” Davids told www.sarugby.co.za. “We expected a tough battle against Wales, and as we said the whole of last week, we certainly never underestimated them.

“They lifted to the challenge and they forced us into a slow start. They also managed to stop our momentum in the first half.

“Test rugby is about playing in the right areas of the field, and having a good kicking game is part of that to get out of your own half.

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“Our kicking game is certainly not what we wanted, and we will work on that.

“We know there are areas we can improve on technically and tactically, so we have to be consistent and keep improving.”

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber is due to name his starting line-up on Tuesday.

And there looks likely to be a recall for Leicester-bound World Cup winner Handre Pollard at fly-half instead of Elton Jantjies.

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Jantjies produced a dismal display in the first Test and was substituted at half-time, with Willemse moving to fly-half and Willie le Roux taking over from him at full-back.

Former world player of the year Pieter-Steph du Toit could also come into the selection mix.

Du Toit is expected to be available for next weekend following his recovery from a shoulder injury, and he would be a potential starter.

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The Springboks have travelled with 42 players to Bloemfontein, and Davids added: “We were open from the outset in saying that we have a big group of players that we are working with.

“And we have to remember that we are working with a long-term view on the Rugby World Cup next year as well.

“It is our objective to try to give everyone game-time, but it is very important to get the balance right so that we can build depth and win Test matches.”

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