Wales boss Wayne Pivac believes his side are motivated for the ‘ultimate challenge’ against World Champions South Africa this summer.
His team will face the Springboks on away turf in a three-match Test series with the opening test in Pretoria on July 2, their first outing since finishing fifth in the 2022 Guinness Six Nations.
Despite this, the Wales coach has insisted that his team shouldn’t be written off, despite claims from pundits and the South African media that the series could be a forgone conclusion.
“I think we were written off in the 2021 Six Nations as well,” said Pivac. “In international rugby you write any team off at your peril.
“From our point of view, it is a huge challenge.
“We are playing the world champions in their own back yard, at altitude in the first two Tests, in front of their own fans for the first time since they won the World Cup. So they’ll be heavily motivated.
“In Test rugby you want the ultimate challenge as players and coaches, and this is probably the ultimate challenge with South Africa at altitude and us coming off the back of our Six Nations.
“It’s the Welsh team that turns up on the day that South Africa will have to deal with and we hope that’ll be a very strong team.
“There is a lot to play and I’m sure our boys are relishing the opportunity.”
Pivac is taking two uncapped tighthead props to face the Springboks, in Scarlets Harri O’Connor and Sam Wainwright of Saracens.
The two will potentially be going up against the best scrum on the planet, but the Wales head coach isn’t overly concerned about their lack of experience.
“There is the opportunity for young players to learn a hell of a lot and grow,” Pivac added. “There is not better learning than going up against the best in the world in any sport.
“At the moment the South Africa scrum have shown they are the best in the world, there line-out drive is superb.
“They are very good at what they do.
“But any young guy coming up against them on tour will learn a lot. They will learn about what they have to do to get to that level.
“So I believe it is an exciting time for any young play going on a tour like this.”