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British & Irish Lions duo return to boost Wales for Springbok Test

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Nov 1, 2021

British & Irish Lions duo Dan Biggar and Louis Rees-Zammit are set to lead timely Wales reinforcements as another punishing Autumn Nations Series encounter looms large.

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The Six Nations champions have little time to dust themselves down before Rugby World Cup holders South Africa arrive in Cardiff on Saturday.

A 54-16 defeat against New Zealand – the All Blacks scored 26 unanswered points during a ruthless final quarter – was Wales’ 32nd successive loss in the fixture since 1953.

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It was also the most points they have conceded to any opponent for 14 years, with England racking up 62 against them during a 2007 World Cup warm-up mis-match.

Northampton flyhalf Biggar and Gloucester wing Rees-Zammit were among seven players unavailable to face New Zealand because the game took place outside World Rugby’s autumn international window.

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Along with the likes of Saracens centre Nick Tompkins and Wasps flanker Thomas Young, they will now join the squad for Springboks preparations, while Wales head coach Wayne Pivac awaits fitness updates on several other players.

The casualty count ran into double figures ahead of facing New Zealand, and that list increased when captain Alun Wyn Jones and flanker Ross Moriarty both went off before half-time due to shoulder issues.

Initial assessments point to Moriarty’s injury being considerably more serious than the skipper’s, with Jones set to win his 150th Wales cap if he is declared fit for South Africa, while Liam Williams, Ken Owens, Ellis Jenkins and Taulupe Faletau are among those on Pivac’s check-up radar.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:30 SA time.

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