Wales want Bok scalp
17 Mar 2008
Grand Slam-winning Wales coach Warren Gatland believes his side can seriously challenge the Boks.
Gatland has suggested he’ll take his strongest squad to South Africa for the two Tests on 7 and 14 June.
“We’ve won the Grand Slam, but don’t want to stop there,” he said. “You’ve got to test yourself against the best teams in the world and South Africa are No 1 at the moment.
“I honestly believe that this team over the next 12 months to two years will become a very good side, that will be difficult to beat and won’t be afraid to play anyone. We’ve made a lot of progress in the last seven weeks.
“To win over there at altitude, I know how tough that is. The guys have delivered on the principles we have had in putting our bodies on the line, putting pride back in the jersey and it is about carrying that forward.
“We go to South Africa with no trepidation, saying ‘let’s have a crack.’ We want to take the strongest squad over there we can.”
The only player Gatland is considering leaving behind is Martyn Williams, who was persuaded to come out of international retirement for the Six Nations.
Defence coach Shaun Edwards added: “We go down to South Africa as champions of the northern hemisphere and with that comes a responsibility to give a good account of ourselves against the current world champions.”
Wales have only beaten the Springboks once in 20 Tests since 1906 – a 29-19 win in 1999. They have lost all six Tests played against the Boks in South Africa.
The last time the teams met was in November last year, when the Boks won 34-12 in Jake White’s last Test as coach.