Wales v South Africa: Warren Gatland expects World Cup judgement

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Wales coach Warren Gatland talks to the media ahead of the Test against South Africa
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; live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & online; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles.

Warren Gatland expects his reign as Wales coach to be judged on how they fare at the 2015 World Cup.

Gatland has faced criticism for his record of one win in 27 Tests against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

During the same period Wales have won three Six Nations titles, including two Grand Slams, and reached the 2011 World Cup semi-finals.

"What we'll be judged on is the World Cup," said Gatland.

Wales face South Africa in their final autumn Test on Saturday hoping to improve on their record of one win - in 1999 - and a draw against the Springboks.

Last six Wales v South Africa meetings
8 November 2008: Wales 15-20 South Africa - Millennium Stadium - report
13 November 2010: Wales 25-29 South Africa - Millennium Stadium - report
11 September 2011: New Zealand 29-10 Wales - Wellington - report
9 November 2013: Wales 15-24 South Africa - Millennium Stadium - report
14 June 2014: South Africa 38-16 Wales - Durban - report
21 June 2014: South Africa 31-30 Wales - Nelspruit - report

The overall record against South Africa, All Blacks and Wallabies under New Zealander Gatland has led to questions about whether Gatland is - or should be - under pressure for his job.

But the New Zealander is unconcerned about his doubters.

"You're always under pressure in sport, and it's more about the pressure you put on yourself rather than the external pressure," said Gatland.

"For us, it's about using the autumn to play against the best teams in the world to prepare for the Six Nations and the World Cup.

"Our whole focus is getting out of our pool in the World Cup."

Saturday's match against the Springboks represents Wales' final opportunity of the autumn to claim a major southern hemisphere scalp after defeats by Australia and New Zealand and a narrow win over Fiji.

Wales coach Warren Gatland
"We've pushed two of the best teams in the world pretty close. The disappointing thing is we haven't finished those games off."

Although Wales have not beaten South Africa since 1999, Gatland still believes preparations for the World Cup are more important than results this November.

"I think we're ahead of schedule [for the World Cup]," he added.

"At the start of the campaign, I stressed we were looking at the long-term.

"We've pushed two of the best teams in the world pretty close. The disappointing thing is we haven't finished those games off."

Defence coach Shaun Edwards has been among those to defend Gatland, who also guided the 2013 British and Irish Lions to victory over Australia.

Former Wales players Dafydd James and Gareth Llewellyn believe Gatland should remain in charge until at least the 2015 World Cup.

Gatland has been forced into three starting XV changes with Liam Williams taking over from injured George North on the wing.

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