Wales v South Africa: Marcell Coetzee 'desperate' to win

Marcell Coetzee
Marcell Coetzee made his Springboks debut against England in June 2012
Autumn internationals: Wales v South Africa
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Sat 29 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC One HD, online, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 14:00 GMT; commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales & Radio Cymru; text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles

Marcell Coetzee says South Africa are "desperate" to win the last match of their tour against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

The flanker, who has scored 30 points in 25 Tests, will start at blind-side for the Springboks in Cardiff.

Wales are hoping to end their autumn campaign on a high against Heyneke Meyer's side, but Coetzee says the Springboks are equally determined.

"I think this will determine our season for this year," said Coetzee.

"We are extremely desperate to win. We know how important it is and the great expectation there is for this game, so we'll just take it as is and come out all guns blazing."

Marcell Coetzee on the attack for South Africa in the 29-15 defeat against Ireland in November 2014
Marcell Coetzee on the attack for South Africa in the 29-15 defeat against Ireland in November 2014

South Africa lost to Ireland in their opening game of their autumn series but subsequently beat England and Italy.

The Springboks have lost just once to Wales, in the first match to be played at the Millennium Stadium in 1999.

They have won all other Tests between the two nations, apart from a 6-6 draw in 1970.

Warren Gatland's men pushed Meyer's side close in the second Test in Wales' June tour to South Africa, losing 31-30, and Coetzee is expecting a tough encounter in Cardiff.

"It will be a big physical battle this weekend," he said.

"No matter who they chose they will always have a quality player in their squad. The depth in their squad is looking very good at the moment.

South Africa's autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: Ireland 29-15 South Africa - report
Saturday, 15 November: England 28-31 South Africa - report
Saturday, 22 November: Italy 6-22 South Africa - report
Saturday, 29 November: v Wales (14:30 GMT)

"They've really grown as a team. I won't say we'll have the edge on them this weekend. It will be 50-50.

"So we'll see who remains on top but I'm looking forward to the challenge."

The closing stages of matches have been a weakness for Wales in recent meetings with southern hemisphere sides.

As well as the second Test defeat against the Springboks in June, they were edged out 33-28 by Australia in the first of their autumn internationals.

On Saturday Wales led New Zealand 16-15 after an hour, but the All Blacks scored three tries late on to seal victory.

The Sharks back-rower, who has started all of the Boks' autumn Tests, was impressed with Wales in their 16-34 defeat against the world champions.

"I think the Welsh were very unlucky to be honest," said Coetzee.

"They lost it right at the end so it just shows how Wales have grown.

"Maybe in the past years it wouldn't have been so close, but they almost beat the New Zealand team, so we have to commend and respect the Welsh for the playing style they are playing these days."


Wales: TBC

South Africa: Willie le Roux; Cornal Hendricks, Jan Serfontein, Jean de Villiers (capt), Lwazi Mvovo; Pat Lambie, Cobus Reinach; Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Coenie Oosthuizen; Eben Etzebeth, Victor Matfield; Marcell Coetzee, Teboho Mohoje, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Julian Redelinghuys, Lood de Jager, Nizaam Carr, Francois Hougaard, Handré Pollard, Damian de Allende.