The Boks and Wales have always played a similar style of rugby, with a heavy reliance on the kick-chase and territory game. We saw the same on display this past weekend at Loftus, as we have done through at least the last 5 years. It is this similar attritional style of play that keeps these contests so tight and more times than one can remember, a kick right at the death has proven the difference here.
Wales will be deploying Dan Biggar at 10 again, he is a tactically astute player and has an excellent boot. He has the luxury of two British & Irish Lions wingers in Zammit and Adams to contest his kicks and on defense, bomb diffuser Liam Williams is adept at dealing with the threat that Pollard poses. It may be an entirely overhauled team from the Boks, but you can pretty much guarantee that the kicking and territory game will be the contest that it always is.
The Springboks will be fielding three natural fullbacks for this contest in Fassi (11), Arendse (14) and Gelant at the back. All of these players are starting 15's at their franchises primarily. This gives them a unique edge this weekend as they work in tandem to diffuse the kicking threat posed by the Welsh. It is not often that you have so many players qualified to defend in the last line, starting together and I am very eager to see how they manage to combine on Saturday.
Galant will be the man relied on primarily at fullback but he won't be short on options for cover when he roams up and enters the line as an additional attacking option. The roles between the three are likely to be quite fluid, depending on the field position the Boks find themselves in.
Other than their ability to provide rock solid defense and cover the kicking threat, these are three fullbacks who boast incredible talent on the counter attack. They all have incredible vision for space, they are quick and boast considerable side stepping ability. If the forwards can get the Welsh pack on the back foot, these guys will be able to cause havoc out wide. Wales will have to be very cautious when kicking, as a loose ball and a fractured line will quickly lead to points with this back three running back at them.
It is an exciting trio on display here and I am backing them to get the job done on Saturday. There can be no argument around the merit of their selection, now all they need to do is tie it all together and ensure they get their timing and communication right on the day.