The next list of international Test previews is not to be missed, and after a successful summer last year, the Springboks are back to continue their warm-up to the World Cup.
Next up is Wales from July 2, with a three-game Test. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the first game.
Where: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, South Africa
The truth : The world’s current number one men’s rugby team, South Africa, played much like them to close out last year’s Tests.
The Springboks beat New Zealand, Wales and Scotland in back-to-back matches – all away – before ending 2021 with a narrow 27-26 loss to England at Twickenham, a result that won hasn’t affected South Africa’s position among the best teams in the world too.
Reigning Rugby World Cup champions, the Springboks are just over a year away from defending their title next fall in France, which makes every warm-up game all the more important.
Hosting Wales for a three-match Test series next month should be a solid barometer of South Africa’s standing. If the heavily favored Springboks dominate at home, they will only affirm their status as a formidable team. If South Africa stumbles, however, things could get dicey.
Wales, meanwhile, are desperate for a string of strong performances after a poor fifth-place finish in the Six Nations, a far cry from the 14 consecutive matches the country won between 2018 and 2019.
Coach Wayne Pivac’s side have never beaten the Springboks in South Africa but enjoyed a four-game winning streak against the rugby powerhouse from 2016 to 2018. Could this summer’s tour be the start of a new dawn in Welsh rugby? The first meeting in Pretoria will tell how much of a pipe dream this can be – or a reality.