Wales expect fast and furious Boks

Thu, 31 Oct 2013 12:03
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We're fortunate enough to start with South Africa

Veteran lock Alun Wyn Jones said Wales' upcoming clash with South Africa promises to be a fast, frenetic encounter.

South Africa have had a lot of changes to their squad in the last couple of years, but they've still got a number of guys who have been playing in the Green and Gold jersey for a while.

Warren Gatland's side tackle the Springboks next Saturday, November 9, with further clashes against Argentina, Tonga and Australia to come.

First up is Heyneke Meyer's South Africa, a though side who ran New Zealand close earlier this month.

"Having looked at the Rugby Championship, the South Africa versus All Blacks game was pretty special," said Jones.

"The ball didn't go out of play much and the intensity and speed of the game was massive.

"We're fortunate enough to start with South Africa.

"Yes they've had a lot of [personnel] changes, but they've still got a number of guys who have been playing in the Green and Gold jersey for a while.

"It's going to be a tough, tough game with what we've seen and the players they've got."

After captaining the British & Irish Lions in the deciding clash with Australia in July, Jones will be a key figure for Wales throughout the year-end Tests.

The Wales man could line up against a fearsome second row pairing of Bakkies Botha and Eben Etzebeth, when South Africa visit the Millennium Stadium.

At 34 and with 76 caps, Toulon lock Botha provides plenty of experience, with Etzebeth a hugely promising prospect alongside him.

"Etzebeth has been on the radar for a while," Jones said.

"They've had him lined up to fill the boots of Matfield and Botha, but they've got a lot of guys with experience," the Ospreys skipper added.

"The likes of Jean de Villiers, they have achieved a lot and they'll bring on guys like Etzebeth and other newcomers to the jersey."

He added: "I've been asked if we can transform what some of the boys did in the summer into the autumn and there's a lot of experience from that tour.

"We have to move on from the success we had but also bring that into this kind of environment. It's a different jersey and a different cause but you want to continue in a successful manner first as an individual and then in whatever team you're in.

"There's no easy formula for success. It's a case of not trying to emulate the past but build on it and look to the future."