Alex Cuthbert alongside Liam Williams and George North gives Wales a real cutting edge.
Wales are hoping to win their first Test match on South African soil this afternoon in Durban. On eight previous occasions Wales have attempted to claim a Springboks scalp and on eight occasions they've come away empty handed.
The odds are stacked against Warren Gatland's men as they head for the Growthpoint Kings Park Stadium for this afternoon's showdown.
South Africa are currently ranked second in the world while Wales are sixth but the tourists are eager to break the hoo-doo. Below are five crucial areas where the game could be won or lost.
This is one area where Wales should have clear superiority. British and Irish Lions duo Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies have racked up 98 Tests between them. Facing the formidable Welsh combination will be JP Pietersen who has moved in from the wing due to captain Jean de Villiers, Jacques Fourie, and Juan de Jongh all missing through injury or illness while Frans Steyn has ruled himself out of contention amidst claims of a money dispute with the SARU. Alongside Pietersen will be Jan Serfontein who will be making his first start for the Springboks in what will be his 10th Test.
Having fended off a number of challengers, Ospreys pivot Dan Biggar now appears to be the first cab off the rank when it comes to Warren Gatland selecting his No 10. It seems an age ago when Biggar made his debut as a teenager against Canada in 2008 but the RaboDirect PRO 12 Players' Player of the Year in 2014 is turning into a confident general at the highest level. He is just two points away from reaching a century of points for Wales but when coming face to face with Morné Steyn, he is up against one of the best sharp shooters in the business. Steyn will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok fly half while he has already amassed 636 points at international level. He isn't afraid to belt the leather off the ball in general play. Steyn is generally known as just a kicker but he has already scored more Test tries (8) than any other South African fly half.
The battle between the back three of both teams is worth the admission price alone. Liam Williams, Alex Cuthbert and George North up against Willie le Roux, uncapped Cornal Hendricks and Bryan Habana. North has overcome a virus this week to give Warren Gatland's men a much needed boost. Williams is full of fire and brimstone while opposite number le Roux is a real jack in the box with loads of tricks up his sleeve. All wingers have a nose for the try line with Habana looking to extend his record of 53 Test tries for South Africa.
Strength in depth
There is now doubt that this afternoon's game is going to be fast and furious. With that in mind both coaches will have go to the bench at some stage. While the Boks believe big is beautiful, Warren Gatland has opted to give diminutive fly half Matthew Morgan a spot on the bench. His ability to open up a game with a flash of brilliance could tip the balance Wales' way when tiring South African limbs are tiring late on. Wales don't lack for experience - or guile - on the subs bench either with hooker Matthew Rees, prop Paul James and utility back James Hook offering plenty of options for Wales. The Springboks bench is not to be sniffed at either with Schalk Britz, Tendai Mtawarira and Schalk Burger offering size and power up front while replacement scrum half Ruan Pienaar would walk in to most international sides.
Southern hemisphere teams always complain when they play northern hemisphere teams and a referee from the northern hemisphere is in charge. Springboks head coach Heyneke Meyer has already said his side had a 'shake-up' last week against a World XV where Ireland's George Clancy raised eye-brows which some of his decisions. This afternoon's ref is Romain Poite from France - but he is no stranger to the Boks as this will be his fourth Test involving South Africa. The Springboks have won two and lost one of these encounters. His last game was the Test against New Zealand on 14 September, 2013 at Eden Park in Auckland, when the Boks lost by 29-15 in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
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