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Wales hope will count in the World Cup semi-final



Tokyo – Wales Test the rugby in their squad. South Africa in their Rugby World Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 11:00 SA time.

Wales has never reached the final and are bidding to become only the second northern hemisphere team to be crowned world champions.

And attack coach Stephen Jones said this was a "whole different squad" to the Welsh team that lost in a nailbiting 9-8 semi-final to France in 2011.

"If you look at our squad, we've got a far more experienced squad this time around. Guys who have been on (Lions and Trips) Lions trips as well and won important games in those series," Jones told reporters.

"If you look at this group, they've been through a lot of must-win matches. Grand Slams as well. So we're well-blessed in that department. "added Jones.

Wing George North said "a bit of an unknown".

"This time, it feels like we've earned our place."

Rugby Championship winners Ellis Cup – in 1995 and 2007 – and are hoping that the 12-year pattern between trophies will continue.

But Wales have had the best encounters between the two sides, winning the last four Tests – after losing all but two of the first 31 fixtures.

However, they lost 23-19 to South Africa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter-final, with current Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard kicking 18 points.

Jones said he was expecting a kick-heavy game based around forward domination, with Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus.

"It's a very, very physical game every time you play South Africa," he said.

We We expect the ball to be kicked out. Threat Jones said.

Jonathan Davies, who is returning from injury, was "100 percent fit and raring to go".

And while the loss of Liam Williams was "disappointing," Jones again pointed out to the experience that replacement Leigh Halfpenny would bring to the match.

"We've got Leigh Halfpenny with 85 caps, two Lions tours, played in the semi-final of a World Cup. He's a wonderful player. Brings a different dimension to the back line," said Jones.

The winners on Sunday face either defending champions New Zealand or England – who play later on Saturday – in the final on November 2, also in Yokohama.

Teams:

Wales

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Owen Watkin

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Capia , 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn


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