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Justin Tipuric expects 'pumped up' South Africa

The Springboks have arrived in Cardiff for their final game of a dismal year that has seen them suffer seven defeats.

Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Wales flanker Justin Tipuric expects South Africa to be "pretty pumped up" for Saturday's clash at the Principality Stadium.

Wales name their team later today.

The Springboks recent record includes a home loss to Ireland, an historic first defeat against Italy, a 37-point drubbing by England and a record home reversal against world champions New Zealand, while they were also beaten in Argentina.

While Wales are seeking a third successive win against all opponents - albeit a week after substitute Sam Davies' drop-goal got them out of jail against Japan - they have only toppled South Africa twice in 31 previous meetings.

It is a massive game against South Africa. They will be pretty pumped up this weekend. They are a wounded animal at the minute and are coming under a lot of pressure at home. They will be coming here and fighting for everything.

There is pressure in any international game. If we win this weekend it will equal the most successful autumn campaign ever (for Wales), but it won't be easy. We know we have to go out there and perform.

– Justin Tipuric, Wales International

Scott Baldwin wary of 'wounded beast' South Africa

Scott Baldwin is tackled by Japan's Shunsuke Nunomaki during the Autumn International match. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Scott Baldwin has warned Wales to expect "a wounded beast" when South Africa arrive in Cardiff on a face-saving mission next weekend.

While woeful Wales played a get-out-of-jail card courtesy of Sam Davies' late drop-goal to beat Japan 33-30 on Saturday, the Springboks floundered in Florence, being defeated by Italy for the first time in Test match history.

So bad were the Springboks that South African Rugby president Mark Alexander released a hard-hitting statement after the game, when he highlighted "deeply worrying aspects" of performances this year that have also included a record home loss against New Zealand and a 30-point thumping by England.

South Africa are going to come here as a wounded beast. But it is also a kick up the backside for us, and we know we have to put in a much better shift next week to get a result.

If you look at our game against Australia (Wales lost 32-8 a fortnight ago) when we left with our tail between our legs, we fronted up against Argentina the following week, and I think that is what they (South Africa) will be trying to do.

Last time they came here in 2014 we got a result, and it is on us to do it again. The ambition is there, but for some reason we are just not clicking.

In fairness to the coaches, we are doing a lot of skill work in training, a lot of off-load work, skills under pressure and stuff like that, and as players we have got to look at ourselves in how we control the game when we are on the pitch.

When the whistle goes at 2.30pm it is up to us to manage the game, and we need to manage it better. It was a disappointing game in nearly every aspect.

– Scott Baldwin, Wales hooker


Cory Hill loving life in the Wales squad

Cory Hill during the Autumn International match against Australia. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Cory Hill cheerily admits he "reeled off a load of nonsense" when introducing himself to the Wales squad three weeks ago.

All squad newcomers are asked to make a 30-second introductory speech about themselves, the contents of which Hill would prefer to keep confidential.

But the fact it only happened last month - and Hill now finds himself making a full Test match debut alongside second-row partner Alun Wyn Jones against Japan on Saturday - speaks volumes for the impact he has made.

I've loved every minute of being with the squad. It's a boyhood dream to come and play for Wales.

Training alongside the world-class players we've got is brilliant. I just have to take it step by step. I am taking everything in my stride.

I got called in to train with the squad, then called into the squad, then the match-day 23 (against Australia) and now I'm starting, so hopefully I can take my chance and stay in the starting XV.

– Cory Hill, Wales International
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