South Africa vs Wales: Lock Adam Beard hopes for history against Springboks

Adam Beard attacks for the 2021 British and Irish Lions
Adam Beard played in 34 internationals for Wales, and one Test for British and Irish Lions.
Venue: Loftus Versfeld Pretoria Date: Saturday, 2 July. Kick-off: 16:05 BST Coverage: Live text and updates on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales

Lock Adam Beard believes that Wales can benefit from being written off during the three-Test South Africa tour.

Wayne Pivac's side travels out this week against South Africa, the world champions. The opening Test will be held in Pretoria on 2 July.

Wales will arrive in South Africa, having placed fifth in 2022 Six Nations. They also lost the final match against Italy.

Beard stated, “I believe we work best when are underdogs.”

“We were not given any chance going into this tour to defeat South Africa. These circumstances are ideal for us as a Welsh nation.

The Welsh have lost every 10 internationals against the Springboks in South Africa, which shows how difficult it is to win.

They can also reflect on four wins in the past 12 months – victories over Australia, Fiji and Canada.

Beard stated that no Wales team had ever been to South Africa and won (an International against South Africa)”.

“It will be an immense challenge to go out on the streets and make some history.

“We were only three points away of beating South Africa. We were also in the World Cup finals three years ago, last autumn and were unfortunate not to win.

“There is no better moment now to dust off the past, get on tour and prove something to everyone who is doubting you.”

Beard, 26 years old, described Alun Wyn Jones, his second-row colleague, as the “ultimate professional” before embarking on the tour.

Jones has appeared in a record 162 Test matches for Wales, the British and Irish Lions.

He has been sidelined since October due to a shoulder injury, as well as two operations, so he is now only one of the players for Wales.

He was selected ahead of Will Rowlands to win his 150th Wales cap during a shocking Six Nations home loss against Italy three months back.

Jones, who turns 37 in September, was made his Test debut 16-years ago. He was captain before an injury struck. Jones will travel to South Africa as part of Dan Biggar's Wales squad.

Beard said, “Alis is the ultimate professional and is looking very good.” He is the one who sets the standards and pushes the boys.

“You can see his passion and the energy he brings to the squad. He is the driving force, always talking and enjoying his rugby.

“He may prefer to be captain, but he might not. I am not too sure. He might feel a bit less pressure to not be captain but you know what leadership roles he holds anyway.

“He may not be wearing the captain's uniform, but he still leads the enthusiasm, squad ethics and such like.”

Beard, Jones and the rest of South Africa's pack will need to include Beard and Jones. They must be battle-hardened and capable of dominating physical opposition.

Beard said, “They are large men who are very direct and come hard at you.”

“We are aware that our set-piece must be on point, and certainly the physicality point. We must take this on-board.

“Last Wednesday, we had a bit a hit-out and a referee came in. Two teams of 15 were pretty much playing live in all our game scenarios.

“We haven’t played in a few weeks so it's important we’ve had those training sessions that get a bit spicy, a bit live, so that when we go to South Africa, we are ready to face that confrontation.”

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