Gatland wants to 'whitewash' Boks

Mon, 09 Jun 2014 09:09

The bookmakers have installed South Africa as overwhelming favourites, but Wales coach Warren Gatland has his eye on a 2-0 sweep for his team.

If Gatland was a betting man he would have jumped at the 18-1 on offer by some SA bookies for a Welsh series win.

It is not surprising for a coach to publicly back his side, but Gatland went further by suggesting that only 2-0 series victory will do when they meet the Springboks in Durban (this Saturday, June 14) and Nelspruit (next week, June 21).

"My target for this tour is to win," Gatland told walesonline.co.uk.

"I had only just been in charge when we were here in 2008.

"We were well beaten in the first Test and came back and were unlucky in the second Test. We were in front and had a couple of rough calls go against us in the second Test," he told the Welsh website.

"We need to start well and get some confidence and hopefully we can win. A couple of years ago in Australia we were very unlucky, we were close to South Africa in the autumn and we are not here to make up the numbers.

"We are here to build, get some confidence and hopefully to win the series."

* Meanwhile Gatland revealed Dan Lydiate's leadership skills on last season's British and Irish Lions tour persuaded the Wales coach to give the flank the national captaincy for the first time.

The blindside flank has recovered from a hamstring injury and will lead Gatland's men into battle against Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

Gatland disclosed they had given the captaincy to Lydiate after watching footage of the Racing Metro forward leading the B&I Lions to victory over Rebels last year.

"When we looked at that and the video of his motivational speaking we thought that was pretty good," Gatland told walesonline.co.uk.

"There were places at stake then and he came through so it is the same message for him and others who play well.

"He jumped at the chance to lead his country and we are looking for more of the same as we saw from him last year."

Gatland was considering switching Lydiate to openside flank for the Tests following the injuries to captain Sam Warburton and fellow Lions back row forward Justin Tipuric.

Source: walesonline.co.uk