South Africa: Meyer Expects Tight Forward Battle

Despite numerous injuries, Wales will prove tough opponents for South Africa in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final on Saturday, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer believes.

Wales have suffered a raft of injuries during the tournament, with their backline particularly affected.

Fullback Leigh Halfpenny and scrumhalf Rhys Webb pulled out before the World Cup started and they have since lost wing Hallam Amos and centres Scott Williams and Cory Allen, as well as Liam Williams who plays at fullback or wing.

Meyer though believes the match will be decided up front, where Wales will prove a tough nut to crack.

“Rugby, especially in this tournament, is all about winning the forward battle. They’ve still got a brilliant side, we’ve also got two of our best players out,” Meyer said at a press conference in Bagshot near London on Wednesday.

“If you look at Wales, they are a quality side. They don’t concede tries – only two in the first four games – and they play a very disciplined type of rugby.

“There are no weak areas. They are very direct and use the 12 (Jamie Roberts) to run-up and build phases to put you under pressure with your discipline. Discipline is going to be very important.”

The Bok mentor believes Wales are very similar to his own side in many aspects.

“They are a team that really wants to get going over the advantage line. They are a very dangerous team.

“They get their forwards in and use their backs as big ball-runners and get over the advantage line.

“In a sense they are the same as us so it will be a very tight forward battle.”

Saturday’s clash at Twickenham is scheduled for 17:00 (SA time).

South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Wales:

TBA

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