Preview: Wales v South Africa

Wales will look to complete a clean sweep this November against South Africa to round off an excellent year with a ninth successive victory.

Wales will look to complete a clean sweep this November against South Africa to round off an excellent year with a ninth successive victory.

Liam Williams replaces the injured Leigh Halfpenny at full-back ahead of their game against South Africa as Warren Gatland makes one change to the side that faced Australia.

South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus has named an unchanged side meaning both head coaches are keeping the faith for this clash.

Wales, who are on an eight-match winning streak, tore Tonga to shreds last time out running in ten tries with only Williams and Adam Beard surviving from that match.

The Springboks have also come into form having beaten France and Scotland in their last two games.

Cardiff Blues fly-half Gareth Anscombe, who is keeping Dan Biggar and Rhys Patchell on the bench, will be assume kicking duties in absence of Halfpenny.

Fly-half Handre Pollard will be a major threat for the Springboks after scoring 18 points against the Scots, while Siya Kolisi will captain the team.

What they said:

Warren Gatland (Wales head coach): “We are really pleased with how the bench has gone in the first three games, so we will be looking for that impact again on Saturday.

“There were a lot of tough selection calls, but that is what we want. The team that played last week was hugely impressive, and there are some disappointed boys who miss out.”

Rassie Erasmus (South Africa head coach): “We will be desperate to win, and to end the tour on a high would be fantastic for the experience and growth of this squad.

“Wales have a formidable squad and their current run of eight unbeaten Tests is proof and also an indication of their good form at the moment.

“They are a well-balanced and strong side with a great home record so our boys will be in for a massive contest on Saturday.”

Key Battle: Handre Pollard v Gareth Anscombe

Both fly-halves will be in the spotlight as they look to marshall their sides to victory.

Pollard was deadly with the boot against Scotland and Anscombe won the battle for the Wales ten jersey – but there are players waiting in line for an opportunity.

Decision-making and kicking could well be the key to victory with Pollard having really stepped up this season since taking on the full-time role.

Anscombe, who is also capable of playing full-back, has been in flying form for the Blues and impressed when handed a start by Gatland.

Stat watch:

– The last time Wales won nine on the spin was in 1999 when current backs coach Rob Howley was captain. – Wales have won four of the past five meetings between the sides, having lost the previous 16 in a row. – South Africa’s tally of 36 tries this year puts them third among tier one nations behind New Zealand (68) and Scotland (39).

Wales: 15. Liam Williams, 14. George North, 13. Jonathan Davies, 12. Hadleigh Parkes, 11. Josh Adams, 10. Gareth Anscombe, 9. Gareth Davies; 1. Nicky Smith, 2. Ken Owens, 3. Tomas Francis, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Alun-Wyn Jones (capt), 6. Dan Lydiate, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Ross Moriarty

Replacements: 16. Elliot Dee, 17. Rob Evans, 18. Dillon Lewis, 19. Cory Hill, 20. Ellis Jenkins, 21. Tomos Williams, 22. Dan Biggar, 23. Owen Watkin.

South Africa: 15. Willie Le Roux, 14. Sbu Nkosi, 13. Jesse Kriel, 12. Damian De Allende, 11. Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10. Handre Pollard, 9. Embrose Papier; 1. Steven Kitshoff, 2. Malcolm Marx, 3. Frans Malherbe, 4. RG Snyman, 5. Franco Mostert, 6. Siya Kolisi, 7. Pieter-Steph Du Toit, 8. Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Thomas Du Toit, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. Eben Etzebeth, 20. Francois Louw, 21. Ivan van Zyl, 22.Elton Jantjies, 23. Cheslin Kolbe