Warren Gatland: Wales have squad depth, says head coach

Who should Gatland pick to face Springboks?
Autumn international: Wales v South Africa
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 24 November Kick-off: 17:20 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two S4C, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport website and app.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland says the current squad is the most competitive of his 10-year reign.

The New Zealander made 14 changes for Saturday's game against Tonga, which Wales won 74-24 to extend their unbeaten run to eight games

Gatland is likely to make changes for Saturday's final game of the autumn against South Africa in Cardiff.

"There are definitely going to be some disappointed players next week," Gatland said.

"The hardest thing for me about selection is the players who miss out.

"I know how disappointed they are, and I expect that because they should back themselves to be in the team.

"This is the most competitive squad we've had. We have always spoken about creating depth, and we've done that.

"The pleasing thing for me now is, I can pick a bench knowing they are going to have a strong impact as well."

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland will leave his role as Wales head coach after the 2019 World Cup

Victory over South Africa, a side they beat 12 months ago, would give Wales the first clean sweep of wins in one autumn campaign following earlier successes this month against Scotland and Australia.

A successful autumn campaign would follow a summer tour when they edged out South Africa in Washington DC before seeing off Argentina twice in South America.

"Next week is going to be very important for us, and if we can win that, then we've gone a couple of campaigns unbeaten," Gatland added.

"It is all about next year, but the pleasing thing for me is we are creating momentum, self-belief and confidence. We are definitely doing that.

"Winning is a habit, and so is losing. To continue to win, sometimes you have to win ugly and have a bit of luck as well.

"The squad is in a really good place mentally, there is some real competition, and we are building nicely to next year."

Gatland has three options at fly-half against with Dan Biggar, Gareth Anscombe and Rhys Patchell all vying for the position.

Anscombe started against Scotland and Australia, Biggar was man-of-the-match against Tonga in a game where Patchell came off the bench to score a wonderful individual try.

Gatland does not want a public debate about who should play.

"All three 10s have played well and that's a great position for me to be in," said Gatland.

"The biggest thing for me, and the players are the same, is that the last thing we want is a media debate about the Welsh number 10's.

"That's been going on forever and they don't want to be stuck in the middle of that. Whoever is involved against South Africa will see it as a big opportunity and whoever misses out will be disappointed."

Pick your Wales XV v South Africa

Pick your starting XV for Wales' match against South Africa in Cardiff on 24 November

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