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South Africa vs Wales LIVE rugby: Latest build-up and updates from deciding Test in Cape Town

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Wales and South Africa go head to head in Cape Town to decide their summer series after an enthralling first two games that both came right down to the wire and ended with a victory piece.

Following a dismal Six Nations, which included being on the wrong end of Italy’s first win in the competition for seven years, expectations were low for Wales as they faced the reigning world champions but Wayne Pivac’s men came agonizingly close to snatching glory in the series opener before finally getting their first-ever victory over the Springboks on South African soil a week ago.

The fact that just one of the last 11 clashes between the sides have been decided by a double-digit margin of victory suggests another thriller is on deck at DHL Stadium.

Regardless of the result in Cape Town, the tour will be seen as an unqualified success from a Welsh perspective and Dan Biggar has captained them superbly despite missing a number of key players through injury. If he can skip them to a truly remarkable series win, then his legacy will be even further secured.

Follow all the action from South Africa vs Wales below with our live blog:

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South Africa vs Wales

By the way, Wales were so short of fully fit bodies that Wayne Pivac had to call Jamie Roberts into training this week to make up the numbers – the day before the former Wales center announced his retirement from rugby.

Just a quick word on Roberts, such a consistent performer for so many years in the Wales midfield, who always had so much more to his game than his obvious carrying proficiency.

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South Africa vs Wales

Ireland and England sealed series victory away from home earlier – can Wales follow their lead? It is a mammoth challenge for Wayne Pivac’s side in Cape Town, and you do wonder just how much that group of forwards will have left in the tank. But they have really managed to disrupt South Africa during this series, and there is little reason they can’t do it again.

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Team News – Wales

A long season, a long series and yet Wayne Pivac has trusted that his tried and tested have enough left in the tank to get the job done. Again the Wales head coach makes only a single change, Josh Adams starting in the place of the injured Alex Cuthbert in a fifteen identical to the one that began in Pretoria two weeks ago. Both Dan Biggar and Dillon Lewis are passed fit after injury worries.

The rest, then, are as they were, including the back row of Dan Lydiate, Tommy Reffell and Taulupe Faletau that have combined so well in this series. With Cuthbert out of the 23, Owen Watkin steps up to the bench, which also now includes Rhys Patchell – Gareth Anscombe, match-winner seven days ago, has been forced to withdraw by a rib injury.

Wales XV: Thomas, Elijah, Lewis; Rowlands, Beard; Lydiate, Reffell, Faletau; Hardy, Biggar (c); Adams, Tompkins, North, Rees-Zammit; L Williams.

Replacements: Lake, W Jones, Wainwright, A W Jones, Navidi; T Williams, Patchell, Watkin.

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Team news – South Africa

Another week, another heap of changes for South Africa with the Springboks restored to full strength for game number three. There has been one series ever-present: Eben Etzebeth starts for a third week in a row, becoming the seventh South African to win 100 caps and still, seemingly, with plenty left in the tank.

The four others retained from the starting team beaten last week are Handre Pollard, Trevor Nyakane, Pieter-Steph du Toit and, most notably, Jaden Hendrikse, who gets the nod at scrum-half ahead of Faf de Klerk, who has been in mixed recent form.

De Klerk thus lends extra experience to a typically fearsome 6-2 bench. Siya Kolisi is back to captain the side and is joined in the back row by du Toit and Jasper Wiese, while loosehead Nyakane is the only member of the tight five that didn’t start the series opener.

South Africa XV: Nyakane, Mbonambi, Malherbe; Etzebeth, DeJager; Kolisi (c), du Toit, Wiese; Hendrikse, Pollard; Mapimpi, De Allende, Am, Kolbe, Willemse.

Replacements: Marx, Kitshoff, Koch, Mostert, Smith, Louw; De Klerk, Le Roux.

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Dan Biggar says Wales will give their all attempting to beat South Africa again

Dan Biggar says that Wales will “give absolutely everything” in pursuit of a Test series triumph against world champions South Africa that appeared inconceivable three weeks ago.

Biggar admits Wales would “probably have been laughed out of town” had such a possibly even been suggested before the series began.

But after losing narrowly to South Africa in the opener and bouncing back to tie things up last weekend, a titanic Test trilogy reaches its climax.

Cape Town’s DHL Stadium and an expected 55,000 capacity crowd will witness Wales’ bid to shred international rugby’s form-book beyond recognition 14 months before the World Cup.

It is just 17 weeks since Wayne Pivac’s team lost at home to regular Six Nations wooden spoonists Italy, while they had won only four of 12 games before departing Heathrow – beating Canada, Fiji, Australia and Scotland.

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Dan Biggar and Handre Pollard hold key to South Africa-Wales series decider

Test series glory will be on the line for Wales and South Africa when they meet in Cape Town today.

Wales are fresh from claiming a dramatic 13-12 victory over the world champions last weekend – their first against the Springboks in South Africa – after losing narrowly in Pretoria seven days earlier.

Here, we look at how rival fly-halves and tactical masterminds – Springboks World Cup winner Handre Pollard and Wales captain Dan Biggar – match up.

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Late drama sees Wales claim historic first victory over Springboks on South African soil

Wales made history as they recorded a stunning 13-12 second-Test victory over South Africa in Bloemfontein last weekend. It was Wales’s first win against the Springboks on South African soil, ending 58 years of hurt and arriving at the 12th attempt.

After suffering an agonizing three-point defeat in the series opener, Wayne Pivac’s team made no mistake at the second time of asking and set up a Cape Town decider.

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber’s decision to make 14 changes backfired – he rested World Cup winners like Siya Kolisi, Faf de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe – as Wales triumphed through Josh Adams’s 78th-minute try that Gareth Anscombe converted from the touchline.

Anscombe and Wales captain Dan Biggar kicked earlier penalties, while Handre Pollard booted four penalties for the Springboks. Alun Wyn Jones was yellow-carded for the second successive game – although it appeared a harsh call for hands in the ruck – and it looked like it could be a frustrating defeat for Wales, yet they finished in style as Anscombe held his nerve.

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Siya Kolisi hopes South Africa’s series decider against Wales will build character

South Africa skipper Siya Kolisi believes that cup final experiences build character as the Springboks prepare for their Test series decider against Wales.

Cape Town’s DHL Stadium hosts a winner-takes-all third game after South Africa triumphed in Pretoria and Wales leveled things up with an historic success in Bloemfontein last weekend. The 13-12 victory was Wales’ first over the world champion Springboks in South Africa, setting up an intriguing finale.

“We have been in these situations before, and it builds character,” Kolisi said. “The coaches want us to be in situations such as these, so this is nothing new for us. But I am sure Wales have been in these situations, too.

“Wales are a tough team – they don’t stop playing for 80 minutes – but we are looking forward to this weekend. We looked at last week’s game and where they were strong, and we have been working on that and on improving our game.”

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South Africa vs Wales – talking points

Man in the middle is central

Eddie Jones often divides opinion in the rugby world, but few will disagree with his plans to agree a group of leading coaches, players and referees with an aim of removing repeated pauses in play caused by overuse of the television match official, draconian policing of high tackles and laborious set-piece officiating.

Wales were on the receiving end of four yellow cards from first Test Georgian official Nika Amashukeli, then Australia’s Angus Gardner sin-binned Alun Wyn Jones last weekend in what was a baffling decision by the officiating team.

England’s Matthew Carley, outstanding when Wales and France fought out a titanic Six Nations encounter earlier this year, takes charge of the series decider, and he will be firmly under the spotlight.

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South Africa vs Wales – talking points

Warrior Dan Lydiate an inspired presence

Wales flanker Lydiate suffered a knee injury so serious last year that it sidelined him from rugby for more than 12 months. At 34, some might even have doubted whether he would play at Test level again, but Lydiate does not do normality. He made 18 tackles and missed none in Wales’ Bloemfontein victory over South Africa.

He looks as an influential player now as 10 years ago, when he was named Six Nations player of the tournament following Wales’ Grand Slam triumph, which says everything about his quality and durability.

Lydiate is not so much penciled in for next year’s World Cup, but his name is written in capital letters and underlined. How South Africa will be glad to see the back of him.

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