It was a disappointing showing in the Six Nations, in which Wales only won one game (Scotland 20-17). Their defeat to Italy was inconceivable, though the two matches the Welsh lost against France and England were both by a four-point margin showing that they can still run games close even if they’re sub-par. Four of their five Six Nations outings this year were separated by no more than four points.
Like all the other Southern Hemisphere teams, South Africa have been out of action since November which is the best part of seven months. The current World champions have seen success for their domestic teams with the Stormers just winning the URC Final and in the recent 43 man squad South Africa released, their were nine Stormers players involved (21% of all players).
It has been 116 years since these two sides first played each other in Swansea back in 1906 and it took another 93 years for Wales to get their first win against the Springboks. Over the course of this time they have played 36 matches against one another and it falls heavily in the Springboks favour with them posing a ruthless record of W30-D1-L5.
Tommy Reffell is going to get his debut cap as he comes in for the first time at flanker and is the only uncapped player in the 23-man Wales squad. George North wasn’t expected to play in the first match but is on the team sheet after picking up a knee injury nearly a year ago. Leigh Halfpenny and Ross Moriarty are not in the squad and will be sorely missed.
Handre Pollard is the only key figure missing from the Springbok side, aside from Pollard all the key names are in the team with the possibility of a debut for Salmaan Moerat and Elrigh Louw.
South Africa -15.5 Points
Five of Wales’ victories against South Africa came within a six game period between 2014-2018 with the most important game of the six being a loss in the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup when South Africa went on to claim third place after losing to New Zealand in the semis and beating Argentina in the third place play off.
The most recent match between the two sides came in November of 2021 when the Springboks managed to outscore Wales in the second half after being three points down in the first.
Recent history of the head-2-head stat dictates that Wales are the better team but this is not true in the slightest and the bookies know it, the best price of Springbok win is 1.14 which shows the dominance of this South Africa team. They are World Champions for a reason and because of their continued superiority in world rugby, we believe a minus handicap bet is the best option here.
SOUTH AFRICA -15.5 POINTS
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