Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

How Wales skipper Dewi Lake rates the Springboks' challenge

By PA
Wales' Dewi Lake (R) tackles South Africa's Willie le Roux (C-L) during an international rugby union match between South Africa and Wales at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on July 2, 2022. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP) (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

Dewi Lake has vowed that Wales will not shy away from the challenge of what is mission improbable against world champions South Africa.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Ospreys hooker captains his country at Twickenham on Saturday, with Wales having been written off as a distant 13-1 chance by most bookmakers.

They have lost their last six Tests, which included a Six Nations wooden spoon, while South Africa’s starting line-up has 343 caps more than Warren Gatland’s team.

Video Spacer

Japan coach Eddie Jones on what sets South African players apart | RPTV

Jim Hamilton spoke to enigmatic Japan coach Eddie Jones about what sets South African players like Pieter-Steph du Toit aside from the rest. Watch exclusively on RugbyPass TV

Watch now

Video Spacer

Japan coach Eddie Jones on what sets South African players apart | RPTV

Jim Hamilton spoke to enigmatic Japan coach Eddie Jones about what sets South African players like Pieter-Steph du Toit aside from the rest. Watch exclusively on RugbyPass TV

Watch now

There is an even starker contrast on the bench, where seven of Wales’ replacements have just eight caps between them.

It could potentially be a runaway victory for South Africa, whose matchday 23 includes 10 players that featured in the World Cup final last year, although it is also the Springboks’ first game since then.

“You get into Test match rugby and you want to play the best. We are happy with the challenge this weekend,” Lake said.

Fixture
Internationals
South Africa
41 - 13
Full-time
Wales
All Stats and Data

“We are all excited to play, to get on the field and to face off against the best in the world because that is what you want to set yourself against.

ADVERTISEMENT

“That (physical challenge) is why I fell in love with the game. I was never very good at touch rugby or sevens.

“You know with the pack South Africa have got and what they are known for is dominance and coming at you. I am relishing the opportunity to go toe to toe with them.

“We want to be physical and we want to be in people’s faces and be in challenges. We are not going to shy away from that.”

Wales beat South Africa in Bloemfontein two years ago when Wayne Pivac was head coach, yet only Liam Williams and Gareth Thomas remain from that XV, which underlines the magnitude of their challenge.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lake and company head to Australia next week for two games against the Wallabies and an appointment with Queensland Reds. Wales have not won a Test match since beating World Cup opponents Georgia last October.

Asked about losing becoming a habit, Lake added: “That is on us to change. It is not for me to speak on previous results – they are parked and in the past.

“It is what we do going forward, how do we change people’s perception of us and what do we want to look like as a group.

“It is about installing the winning habits and mindsets and believing in ourselves, because we can do it, and it is on us to show we can do it and put those results together.

“We understand the challenge we face from South Africa, and we are not ignoring that, but sometimes when you look too much into an opposition and delve too deep you forget about yourself.

“We need to focus on what threats are we going to bring, and we know we are a threat as well. So a lot of the key messages for us as a group will be around that.

“Expect a massive territory battle against them (South Africa), but you know the way they want to play the game is dominance up front with their pack. So, that is what we have got to match.

“We have just got to be the aggressors.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

2 Comments
B
Bull Shark 29 days ago

I’m curious what the Boks attack does. Too soon for Tony Brown’s influence to come through? Youngsters given some freedom to attack what they see?

J
John 29 days ago

He’s gonna get Marx’ed and Nche’d… good luck but a long day coming bru…

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

TRENDING
TRENDING Ciaran Frawley's career now hanging 'in the balance' Ciaran Frawley's career now hanging in the balance claims Ireland star
Search