Springboks ready to combat 'tactically smart' Wales

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber is expecting a "proper series" against Wales. David Rogers/Getty Images

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber is under no illusions as to the battle ahead for his side in their three home Tests against Wales next month and expects a "proper series" when they clash.

Wales have never won a match in South Africa in 10 previous attempts, conceding on average more than 40 points per game, and are coming off a dismal 22-21 home loss to beleaguered Italy in their last Six Nations match in March.

That has led to suggestions it will be a one-sided contest against South Africa, who are expected to be at full-strength as they build towards the defence of their Rugby World Cup title in France next year.

But Nienaber says it would be foolish to write the Welsh off and with the luxury of a month for the tourists to prepare for the series under coach Wayne Pivac, believes they will be well-drilled and ready for the Bok challenge.

"They always bring a physical edge, and their set-pieces are always well coached," Nienaber said.

"They are tactically smart and when they played us at the end of last year (in Cardiff) they had a good kicking game and pinned us in our half.

"It is always a scrappy affair and an arm-wrestle. They will bring pride and be willing to take it to the gutter if they must. They can also open it up they want.

"It will be a tightly contested series. They know how we play and we have a pretty good idea of how they play."

Wales last toured South Africa in 2014 when they lost a two-match series, though the second test was narrowly won 31-30 by the home side.

This year's matches will start in Pretoria on July 2, before fixtures on consecutive Saturdays after that in Bloemfontein and Cape Town.