Mike Phillips reckons Wales can take a southern hemisphere scalp
Mike Phillips insists Wales can kick-off the Dove Men Series with a victory over South Africa at the Millennium Stadium.
Wales have only conquered the Springboks once - the 29-19 victory in the official opening of the home of Welsh rugby in 1999.
But Phillips is confident Warren Gatland's men can finally take a southern hemisphere scalp.
"We have pushed them close the last few fixtures we've played against them," said Phillips
"It's been bitterly disappointing not to get victories over them.
"But we've got the talent here in the squad to go out there and do it.
"They are an immensely physical side and you have got to match that. I've been reasonably happy with the way I've played against them in the past, but to have had a few more wins against them would have been better.
"We've pushed them close. The way we've progressed in the squad and the talent we have there is no reason why we can't go out there and get a victory.
"They are a great side and played really well in Rugby Championship. It's going to be difficult, but there's no reason why we can't go out there and get a win."
Phillips carried a knee injury throughout the victorious British & Irish Lions tour of Australia.
He admits it was hugely frustrating but is back to full fitness and is ready to fire for Wales.
"I came back from the Lions tour, had a couple of injections in my knee, a bit of rest and things have settled down really well. I haven't had any issues at all with it," said Phillips
"It was frustrating during the Lions tour, so it's nice to be fully fit and raring to go.
"It was a pain to be honest. I did it in the first game and throughout it was just a bit disappointing to be playing at that level with a major niggle. It was constant ice and feet up. But it was great to win in the end and tick that box."
Wales also face Argentina, Tonga and Australia at the Millennium Stadium and Phillips is relishing the opportunity to pull on the Three Feathers once again.
"I still have the same hunger as ever. That's my character. That's the way I am and that's the way I'll always be," added Phillips
"Whenever you put the Welsh jersey on, you've got to perform to your very best. Anything less than that is not good enough. Those are the standards we've set and it's why we've done reasonably well over the last few years.
"The boys are developing nicely and gaining experiences year on year. I think we are improving every campaign we come in.
"So hopefully we can start off with a win. It's going to be very hard to do that, but we've got to knuckle down and put things in place."
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.