Dan Biggar is tackled by New Zealand’s Sam Cane during Saturday's game. Photo: REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
Dan Biggar is tackled by New Zealand’s Sam Cane during Saturday's game. Photo: REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins speaks at a press conference. Photo: Reuters / Henry Browne
Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins speaks at a press conference. Photo: Reuters / Henry Browne

CARDIFF, Wales – Wales are still feeling the after-effects of last week's clash against the All Blacks, prompting kicking coach Neil Jenkins to admit that some of the team's key players are in a race to gain fitness ahead of facing Springboks at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.

"I think a lot of the boys are a little bit sore as the game (against the All Blacks) was really tough last Saturday," Jenkins said.

"But the game at this level is like that and anytime you play the All Blacks it doesn't just take one or two days to recover, it takes three or four days to get yourself right for the next game. 

"The boys are still a bit fatigued and beaten-up, but hopefully they will freshen themselves up over the next couple of days ready for Saturday.

"Rhys (Webb) is going through his protocols and he's alright. He's just trying to tick the boxes to do everything that's needed of him and hopefully, fingers crossed he will be alright on Saturday.

"Scott (Williams) is OK and he's been training. We're hoping he'll be available."

Jenkins has also revealed his excitement at the prospect of Scarlets centre Hadleigh Parkes winning his first Wales cap on Saturday.

"Hadleigh has been outstanding for the Scarlets and he's been a great addition to the squad so far," said Jenkins.

"Hopefully he will be there or thereabouts for Saturday. I think Hadleigh has got quite a few strengths.

"He carries exceptionally well and he is defensively very good. What the Scarlets have been doing very well is keeping ball in hand and putting people through holes and I think he's got a subtlety to his game too.

"He's been good in camp, he's chatting to the players, chatting to the staff. I think he's been excellent for us and I'd like to think the way we're trying to play is a big bonus for him."

Goalkicking legend Jenkins warned Wales not to take the Springboks lightly as they aim to finish their autumn campaign on a high.

"South Africa are going to be strong, they're going to be tough," he said.

"It's the end of their season, but we turned them over last year so they won't want that to happen to them again. It's a massive game for us as well and it's a game we really need to win and want to play well in.

"You can't take anyone lightly in Test football anymore as we have found out in the past. They'll be tough on Saturday, there's no doubt about that because they have some fantastic players."

ANA

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