Gatland: Fitness could give Boks an edge

Wales coach Warren Gatland said that the physical conditioning of South African players could give the world champion Springboks an edge in the first Test in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

”That’s one of the biggest fears we’ve got — how physical and fit these South African players are from the Super 14,” Gatland told a news conference at a Stellenbosch wine farm on Tuesday.

”We’re expecting a very tough, physical game, so we’ve picked a forward pack that needs to compete with the South Africans.”

On the team’s goals for the tour, Wales assistant coach Rob Howley added: ””In international rugby it’s all about winning. The fact that we have the grand slam champions against the world champions makes it some game for supporters and the public to watch. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

The Wales medical team confirmed that replacement lock Ian Evans is expected to to rejoin the team at training on Wednesday, having recovered from a viral infection he has been fighting since Sunday.

Lock Bradley Davies’s ankle injury will be reassessed over the course of the next 48 hours to establish his availability for the second test in Pretoria. – Reuters

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