Wales face humiliation in series against Springboks, former captain fears

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac (Getty)

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac (Getty)

  • Former Wales captain Gwyn Jones fears their series against the Springboks will be a disaster.
  • Jones says he’s lost confidence in current head coach Wayne Pivac.
  • He says Wales look “rudderless” compared to leading nations in the game.

Former Wales captain Gwyn Jones says he’s lost confidence in current head coach Wayne Pivac and fears the team could be humiliated on their tour to South Africa in July.

Wales are heading to these shores low on confidence after a dismal Six Nations campaign which saw them win only one game and ended with a home loss to lowly Italy.

The Welsh teams were also disappointing in the United Rugby Championship, with none of the four regions qualifying for the quarter-finals.

In a column for the Wales Online website, Jones says his confidence in Pivac “has run out” and that Wales look “rudderless, confusing” and “face South Africa humiliation”.

After Pivac named his squad for the three-Test series earlier this week, Jones questioning some of the selections, especially the omission of Ospreys flanker Jac Morgan.

“The rationale behind the omission of Jac Morgan worries me greatly. Saying that you’re not including him because he isn’t good enough over the ball at the tackle makes you wonder if you’re talking about the same person,” Jones wrote.

“It’s an explanation that jars with me because he’s pretty good at exactly that. The stats show it, and anyone who’s watched him play this year can see it. So it seems an odd reason to give to the public.

“Could Morgan be better at it? Sure, everyone can improve their game. Is Tommy Reffell better over the ball than him? Probably, but Morgan has a far more rounded game than the destructive Reffell.

“So that’s confusing enough, but what concerned me more is that I feel this is the exact opposite of why Pivac chose not to include Morgan in his squad last season. He said that the role of openside flankers has changed, the number of jackals were falling and that he needed backrowers who were better at ball carrying and this is what Morgan had to improve.”

Wales squad for SA tour:

Forwards: Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones, Gareth Thomas, Ryan Elias, Dewi Lake, Sam Parry, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Ben Carter, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Rowlands, Taine Basham, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Lydiate, Josh Navidi, James Ratti, Tommy Reffell

Backs: Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar (captain), Rhys Patchell, George North, Nick Tompkins, Owen Watkin, Johnny Williams, Josh Adams, Alex Cuthbert, Louis Rees-Zammit, Liam Williams

Jones, who played 13 Tests between 1996 and 1997 before a spinal injury ended his career prematurely at 25, added that he couldn’t see Wales outmuscle the Springboks in their own backyard.

“Wales managed one win in the Six Nations, a turgid and low quality victory against Scotland. As the leading countries in the world such as France, Ireland and New Zealand develop the up-tempo attacking style, Wales look rudderless.

“I suspect Pivac has been spooked by the systematic demolition of the Welsh regions in South Africa over recent weeks. The gulf in power was striking and a three Test series could end in humiliation.”

The first Test is scheduled for Saturday, 2 July at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, before Tests in Bloemfontein (9 July) and Cape Town (16 July).