A more passionate rugby nation I’m yet to find. Everywhere in local parks, I see rugby balls being kicked or thrown about by locals. Even the sandy beaches are a convenient place where future stars hone their rugby skills in frequent adverse weather conditions.
Wales is not only a beautiful country to visit but carries an unquenchable passion for the beloved game.
Their attractive brand of running rugby combined with ferocious defence has paid dividends as they finally conquered the Springboks 12-6 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff last year.
This result comes as no surprise considering Wales came so close to beating the springboks in South Africa. During the second test in South Africa last year, Wales dominated the Springboks from the start and with only a couple of minutes to play, a historic result was thwarted by an illegal tackle by the Welsh full back Liam Williams.
A penalty try was awarded and the Springboks won the match 31-30. If the result went their way it may be fair to say that Wales would have gone into the Autumn Internationals with far more confidence against Australia.
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The 33-28 loss to the Wallabies was another match that everyone felt that Wales should have won. The next time these two teams meet will be at the world cup on the 10th of October at Twickenham.
If Wales dominates in the tight phases and can scrum like they did under pressure against South Africa, Australia may not make the quarterfinals for the first time in World Cup history.
Historically, the hosts of the rugby World Cup always progress into knockout stages of the competition. The only advantage England hold over Wales from a neutral's perspective is that on the September 27, England play at their fortress Twickenham.