Wales v South Africa
Jenkins expects physical Springbok test
ESPN Staff
November 28, 2014
Gethin Jenkins is back in the Wales starting line-upo © Getty Images

Wales prop Gethin Jenkins expects a tough, physical test when South Africa visit the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

Jenkins is back in the starting line-up in the absence of first-choice Paul James, who is required by his club Bath, after missing last weekend's clash with New Zealand with a hamstring injury. He will win his 110th cap for Wales.

So far this month Wales have beaten Fiji but lost to Australia and New Zealand. Earlier in the year they lost two Tests in South Africa and haven't beaten the Springboks since 1999. Their run against the Wallabies, All Blacks and Springboks is poor under coach Warren Gatland - they've won just once in 27 games since he took charge and have lost the last 22.

"They (South Africa) have definitely changed their game-plan over the last couple of years, but they have kept some of their strengths," he said. "The maul is still strong and the scrum is still a focus for them. They are quite direct in their backs, and you know with Welsh teams what to expect. We know it's going to be a physical battle.

"The Lions tour in 2009 probably stands out in terms of how physical it was. Their nation was so up for it, and it showed how much they love their rugby. Obviously, I'd played against them before then, but their country brought that tour to life. You always know it is going to be a physical encounter, and the summer this year was the same (Wales lost Tests in Durban and Nelspruit). We let ourselves down in the first Test, but we knew we had to front up in the second Test. We just didn't get over that final hurdle (Wales lost 31-30), and I am looking forward to getting back out there on Saturday."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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