Autumn Internationals update: Wales
Warren Gatland's Wales host the Springboks in final Autumn Internationals Test
The Wales National Team will host South Africa at Principality Stadium on Saturday, December 2, 2017, in their final Autumn Internationals Test. Great seats and rugby tickets are still available for this mouth-watering clash. Buy 150 guaranteed Wales v South Africa tickets now securely online from LiveRugbyTickets.co.uk! Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins hopes Wales' best rugby players will be fit to face South Africa on Saturday in Cardiff. South Africa are expected to be in form, fit, strong, and tough for their final autumn Test. "I think a lot of the boys are a little bit sore as the game against the All Blacks was really tough last Saturday," Jenkins said. "But the game at this level is like that and anytime you play the All Blacks it doesn't just take one or two days to recover, it takes three or four days to get yourself right for the next game. The boys are still a bit fatigued and beaten up, but hopefully, they will freshen themselves up over the next couple of days ready for Saturday. Rhys Webb is going through his protocols and he's alright. He's just trying to tick the boxes to do everything that's needed of him and hopefully, fingers crossed he will be alright for Saturday. Scott Williams is OK and he's been training. We're hoping he'll be available.”
Jenkins looks forward to the prospect of Scarlets' center Hadleigh Parkes winning his first Wales cap on Saturday. "Hadleigh has been outstanding for the Scarlets and he's been a great addition to the squad so far," said goalkicking legend Jenkins. "Hopefully he will be there or thereabouts for Saturday. I think Hadleigh has got quite a few strengths. He carries exceptionally well and he is defensively very good. What the Scarlets have been doing very well is keeping the ball in hand and putting people through holes and I think he's got a subtlety to his game too. He's been good in camp, he's chatting with the players, chatting to the staff. I think he's been excellent for us and I'd like to think the way we're trying to play is a big bonus for him."
Jenkins warned Wales not to take the Springboks lightly as they aim to finish their autumn campaign with a victory. "South Africa are going to be strong, they're going to be tough," said former outside-half Jenkins. "It's the end of their season, but we turned them over last year so they won't want that to happen to them again. It's a massive game for us as well and it's a game we really need to win and want to play well in. You can't take anyone lightly in Test rugby anymore as we have found out in the past. They'll be tough on Saturday, there's no doubt about that because they have some fantastic players."
Taulupe Faletau will start Saturday's clash against South Africa as the only one of Wales' Aviva Premiership-based players. Harlequins center Jamie Roberts was due to report back for training with his club on Tuesday. Quins host European champions Saracens in five days'. Quins and Roberts were involved in discussions after the player initially voiced a desire to remain with Wales. Wales' preparations suffered a setback with lock Jake Ball and flanker Justin Tipuric being released from the squad due to injury. The Welsh Rugby Union announced that Ball suffered a dislocated shoulder in Wales 33-18 defeat against New Zealand 3 days ago and will undergo surgery. Tipuric also suffered a thigh muscle injury in the New Zealand match and will be heading back to the Ospreys for ongoing treatment. Tipuric had a thigh problem earlier in the autumn series, missing matches with Australia and Georgia as a result. He went on as a sub versus the New Zealand All Blacks. Bath could be sanctioned by Premiership Rugby if Faletau plays against the Springboks in Cardiff. The Wales' Under Armour Series finale falls outside the World Rugby autumn Test match window, and England's Premiership clubs have a blanket approach not to release players for those games. That policy remains unchanged and in force this week, but Bath Np 8 Faletau is currently with the Wales squad and viewed as being available for Test team selection. It is further understood that 69 times-capped Faletau has a clause in his Bath contract giving him full release for Wales. Bath play Premiership leaders Exeter on Saturday, when two other Wales squad members. Bath fly-half Rhys Priestland and Chiefs prop Tomas Francis will probably be involved in domestic action. In terms of Bath punishment, a precedent was set when Premiership Rugby fined Northampton £60,000 after they released Wales wing George North to face Australia outside the 2013 autumn window. Gloucester back Owen Williams is thought to be back with his club ahead of Saturday's clash against London Irish, but it is believed that Cardiff Blues prop Scott Andrews is available.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland is due to name his starting line-up on Thursday. Gatland may announce a debut for Scarlets' center Hadleigh Parkes. New Zealand-born Parkes, 30, completes a three-year residency qualification this week to be available for Wales. Scrum-half Rhys Webb suffered a head knock against the All Blacks and went off inside the first 10 minutes. With Ball sidelined, Dragons lock Cory Hill is favorite to partner captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second-row. Scarlets second-row Jake Ball has been released from the Wales squad after suffering a dislocated shoulder against New Zealand and will undergo surgery. Ospreys back row Justin Tipuric sustained a quad injury in the Under Armour series clash and has been released to the Ospreys for ongoing treatment. Wales have won their last two home games against South Africa, but lost to them in the 2015 World Cup quarter-finals at Twickenham.
Wales Autumn Internationals Results
Wales 21-29 Australia Principality Stadium, Cardiff Saturday 11th November 2017 Attendance: 70,275
Wales 13-6 Georgia Principality Stadium, Cardiff Saturday 18th November 2017 Attendance: 55,310
Wales 18-33 New Zealand Principality Stadium, Cardiff Saturday 25th November 2017 Attendance: 74,169
Wales v South Africa Principality Stadium, Cardiff Saturday 2nd December 2017
England boss Eddie Jones has been named World Rugby Coach of the Year. Jones beat Warren Gatland and Steve Hansen to coach of the year award. The 57-year-old Tasmanian led England to Six Nations success this year, presiding over a total of nine victories. Jones beat the British and Irish Lions' Warren Gatland and New Zealand's Steve Hansen to the prestigious award. Coach Jones' only defeat this year was against Ireland in the final game of the 2017 Six Nations, denying England a Grand Slam and halting his winning run since taking the job at 17 tests. In addition to winning the Six Nations, Jones led a much-improved England side on a two-Test series victory of Argentina in June and defeated the Pumas during the recent Autumn Internationals, with wins against Australia and Samoa. Jones' record as England rugby coach is now 22 wins from 23 Tests. New Zealand's Beauden Barrett won the men's player of the year award for the second year in a row. The All Blacks Women's 15s side won the team of the year, 20-year-old wing Rieko Ioane collected the breakthrough player of the year award, and Michaela Blyde took home the women's sevens player award. Former New Zealand captain Richie McCaw was given a special merit award, along with England's 2014 World Cup winner Rachael Burford. American Perry Baker was named men's sevens player of the year, Argentinian Eduardo Oderigo won the award for character, and Joaquin Tuculet won the try of the year prize for a score against England in June.
"It has been an outstanding 2017 for rugby on and off the field and tonight we have recognized and celebrated those who have made it so special,” said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont at the awards ceremony in Monte Carlo. "From the players, teams, and coaches who have inspired millions of fans to the unsung volunteers and projects who at the community level are the foundation of our great game, we salute them all. Congratulations to all our nominees and award winners who have not just displayed excellence, but who embody rugby's character-building values."
Buy 2018 England Autumn Internationals Tickets
England will play four Autumn International matches at Twickenham during the Old Mutual Wealth Series beginning in November 2018. England's opponents will be South Africa (3 Nov), New Zealand (10 Nov), Japan (17 Nov) and Australia (24 Nov). Buy 2018 Autumn Internationals tickets securely now online from LiveRugbyTickets.co.uk!