South Africa v Wales: McBryde stresses importance of series win

South Africa v Wales: Robin McBryde says the tourists need to win the series to boost World Cup preparations

Wales head coach Warren Gatland

Robin McBryde has told Wales that they must leave South Africa with a win as their preparations for the Rugby World Cup ramp up in intensity.

It is no easy task against international rugby’s second best side and Wales’ dismal record in the southern hemisphere.

“It has been a long time coming for us to get a win [Australia, 2008] against one of the southern hemisphere teams,” said assistant coach Robin McBryde. “We cannot hide behind good performances.”

In 2012, the last time Wales headed south, they lost a series 3-0 to Australia despite good performances which saw them have chances to win all three and they will have two chances to do it on the road before they welcome all three southern hemisphere giants and Argentina to the Millennium Stadium in November.

Head coach Warren Gatland’s objective of a whitewash may be an ideal scenario that few fans would expect to happen.

But McBryde believes winning this summer will give the nation a huge lift ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup as Wales have to overcome England and Australia if they are to reach the quarter-finals.

“If we were to win that would boost everyone’s confidence,” he added. “We do need to have one eye on the here and now and one eye on the World Cup.

“We have a lot of new faces around the squad and we are keen to see what they can bring to the team. There is an answer in there somewhere, but performance is key.”

While Wales go through their final preparations for the Springboks with a warm-up match against Eastern Province Kings tonight, Heyneke Meyer’s squad bounced back from a nervous start to demolish a World XV side 47-13 in an unofficial match at Newlands.

And forwards coach McBryde had a close look at how they performed with the big battles with South Africa expected to be with the set-piece and at the breakdown.

“They got caught cold at the start but they grew into the game,” McBryde said.

“It was interesting to hear some of the players being interviewed on the sideline when they came off, and one of the thing they said is they have gone back to what they know, which is driving line-outs and the aerial game.

“That will be a big step up, they are experienced and know what works for them so it will be difficult for us to try and stop that.

“We will be looking for weaknesses within the Boks team. There are not that many but, when we take the field, we will have our plans, go about our business, use our experience as a lot of our guys have been here before with Wales and the Lions.

“We will want those guys to lead. There is no easy answer, no magic wand. We have got plenty of pace and plenty of size.

“We have gone quietly about our business and we need to be in a good place on Saturday.”

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