Wayne Pivac insists Wales are desperate to put their Six Nations embarrassment by Italy behind them
‘There’s no hiding’: Wayne Pivac insists Wales are desperate to put their Six Nations embarrassment over Italy behind in their daunting three-Test series in World Champions South Africa’s backyard
- Wayne Pivac has admitted Wales’ loss to Italy in March was ‘shameful’
- The Dragons are currently preparing for a series of three tests against South Africa
- Pivac is hopeful Wales will bounce back against Springboks from next week
It’s a long time between drinks,” Wayne Pivac joked this week, admitting he was embarrassed by Italy’s humiliation at the hands of Wales in the Six Nations.
Pivac’s squad landed in South Africa last week for a daunting three-test run with world champion Springboks.
It’s one made all the more difficult by Wales’ latest result.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has admitted the loss to Italy in March was “shameful”.
A first home defeat to Italy in March marked the low point of Pivac’s career as a coach in Wales.
The positive for Wales is that even with the best side of the world up and running, they can hardly get any worse than their Azzurri display.
“We have to be much better than our last game. I say that with a smile on my face,’ said Pivac.
“We were ashamed of that last performance, there is no secret about it. The players and management have been talking about it.
“Nobody likes to end sour with a poor performance.
“We are a better team than that and we have to show it in the first test, while also supporting it with strong performances in the second and third.
Pivac hopes his team will improve if they make South Africa favorites in a series of three tests
“We will certainly try to achieve that.” Pivac continues: ‘History says we didn’t do well there (South Africa), that’s for sure. In some camps they would say you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
“The last test we played we had a mistake and we have to make sure we do everything we can to get it right. We don’t go out with a careless attitude. We will do what we think we have to do to try and win the first Test and then get ready for a great run.” The odds are stacked against Wales in the Rainbow Nation.
South Africa will play at home for their own fans for the first time since they won the 2019 World Cup this summer.
The first two tests are on high and, as always, the challenge will be for Wales to counter the giant Springbok pack and their ‘bomb squad’ of substitutions.
South Africa plays for its own fans on its own field for the first time in three years
Pivac’s men were close to South Africa last autumn but the Wales boss rightly acknowledged that his team struggled in the scrum in that narrow 23-18 Cardiff defeat.
With that in mind, a back-care for first-choice tighthead prop Tomas Francis is a major concern for Wales and Pivac.
Dillon Lewis and the uncapped Sam Wainwright and Harri O’Connor are spares.
No side from Wales has ever won a Test series in South Africa.
“If we can keep South Africa for once, like we did against France in the Six Nations, we would be very happy,” said Pivac. “Good things came out of the Six Nations, let’s not forget that. We know how well we can play when we put it together.”