THE ROAR – The second semi-final of the 2019 RWC sees the enigmatic Springboks tackle Wales for a spot in the final.
A quick glance at the rivalry between these two sides after the turn of the 21st century would suggest that the Springboks have the wood over their Welsh counterparts.
Between 2000 and 2014, Wales lost 16 match-ups in a row against tonight’s semi-final opponents.
Not dissimilar to the Wallabies in the Bledisloe Cup, only five years ago – the Welsh vs South Africa match up was not really even a contest, as the Springboks beat down on a Wales side that struggled to compete with top-tier talent, and couldn’t make their mark on the world stage.
Fast forward to 2019, however, and things have changed considerably.
Wales have now won four straight against the Boks, and will look to push that number to five when the final whistle blows in Japan this evening.
The Welsh were dealt a major blow when Liam Williams went down at training with an ankle injury, that left him sidelined for the remainder of the tournament.
Leigh Halfpenny secures his place in the starting XV, slotting in at fullback, while, in a big boost, outside centre Jonathon Davies returns from injury.