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Jake White says URC has helped Boks and Wales to study each other

Bulls director of rugby Jake White says URC has helped both Springboks and Wales.
Happy Chappy Bulls director of rugby Jake White says URC has helped both Springboks and Wales.
Image: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images

Bulls coach Jake White believes the recent meetings between SA sides and their Welsh counterparts will help the Springbok coaches in their planning for the Test series against the British team.

The Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus-led Boks are set to host Wales in a three-match Test series in July in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town.

The first Test will be played at Loftus Stadium on Saturday, July 2 (5.05pm).

The series will mark the start of the Boks' preparation ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France where SA will have a tough task defending their title.

Both SA and Wales have had a chance to closely study each other, thanks to the opportunity presented by the United Rugby Championship (URC).

Speaking from Swansea where his Bulls side claimed a 38-31 bonus-point win over the Ospreys, White said the competition has been a great opportunity for the nations to learn about each other.

“I’m sure that Rassie and Jacques would have been watching that game and watching all the games, especially Welsh franchises because tomorrow (Saturday) the Scarlets are playing the Stormers,” White said.

“I’m sure there’s a lot that they can learn from that as well, but just chatting to the Ospreys guys they are a very big set-piece team, and they like to play out of their own half.

“I’m sure the Springbok coaches and staff will be looking at that and vice versa. I’m sure the Welsh coaches and Welsh staff will be looking at all the games and looking at ways they can try and nullify the set piece and the way we play as South Africans,” he said.

Having done their best to put themselves in a good position to play their URC quarterfinal at home, White and his team are now waiting to see if they will get the home spot and who they will face in the playoffs, which is dependent on the Saturday fixtures.

White praised Cornal Hendricks, who scored a hat-trick against the Ospreys, but insisted his team needs to improve going into the playoffs and European Rugby Champions Cup next season.

“We had a couple of mauls and a couple opportunities on the try line that we didn’t convert and there were mistakes when Canan (Moodie) picked up the ball and knocked it on and obviously didn't release it and gave a penalty away. That’s a learning experience for all of us,” White said.

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