Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
13 Jun 2014
11:00 am

Gatland expecting difficult Bok Test

Rudolph Jacobs

Wales coach Warren Gatland said they are not reading too much in the controversy surrounding the Springbok camp this week, with centre Frans Steyn walking out on the side.

FILE PICTURE: Wales coach Warren Gatland. Picture: AFP.

Gatland named an experienced side to take on the Boks in the first Test at King’s Park tomorrow, with prop Adam Jones in line to earn his 100th Test cap in his 95th Test for Wales, to go with the five caps for the British and Irish Lions.

“We don’t think it (Steyn) will affect the Boks too much. Whoever they put in that green jersey will be tough and be up for it,” said Gatland.

“They have brought in a new centre, but next to him they have JP Pietersen, who is a pretty good and experienced player himself.”

Wales have not been in South Africa since 2008, when they ran the Boks close, while Heyneke Meyer’s team were pushed hard in a 24-15 win in Cardiff last November.

“We have belief and confidence that we can win on Saturday. It will be important to match the physicality the Boks will bring to the game; we will have to match them there,” said Gatland.

The Welsh, however, are still sweating over the fitness of wing George North, who has picked up a virus, although Gatland is positive he will pull through.

With French referee Romain Poite appointed to officiate, Gatland said he is hoping for a fair contest in the scrums.

“You don’t often see a Bok pack under pressure like last week, but they were indeed under pressure, admittedly against a very good World XV pack. We just have to be patient and accurate and then we will stand a good chance.”