Pivac hoping for good night's sleep as Wales prepare to kick off South Africa tour

By Sports Desk July 01, 2022

Wales coach Wayne Pivac is hoping for a first good night's sleep in almost four months when his side get their tour of South Africa underway this weekend.

The tourists kick off their three-match series against the world champions at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday in what will be the teams' second meeting since the Springboks won their 2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final encounter.

Armed with several players who partook in the British and Irish Lions' tour to the Southern Hemisphere last year, Pivac will have some experienced heads on hand as he hopes to spring a surprise.

But he admits his time spent masterminding his side's prospects after a dismal start to 2022 means he will only rest soundly when the first game is done and dusted.

"I’ll probably get my first decent night's sleep since the end of the Six Nations," he stated. "That's a fact.

"It just doesn't go away. The thing with coaches and players is you're not happy until you get your next win under your belt. It's been a long time between drinks, and of course there is that memory.

"If you finish on winning the Six Nations then it's quite a nice memory, but losing to Italy has been challenging in terms of the pressure you put on yourself as opposed to the pressure others put on you."

Wales have lost their past three matches and are winless in five away from home, sliding to ninth in the world rankings while South Africa retain top spot.

Pivac is aware his side will be the underdogs, adding: "It's understandable. You've got to look at where the two teams are coming from. They're the world champions, in their own backyard, at altitude.

"It's a tough place for anyone to go, and from the outside looking in, from our last performance, you would write us off.

"The main thing is that we haven't written ourselves off. Some of the players look at it, a lot of them are on social media all the time. It's a fact of the game. I don't mind it at all, because it is just people reporting on the facts.

"If you want to argue, play a bit better. That's where we've got to do our arguing and say that we are better than that, don't write us off and then bang."

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