Halfpenny ruled out for Wales, Le Roux says Boks back on track

by AAP

Wales will be without experienced fullback Leigh Halfpenny for Saturday's international against South Africa at the Millennium Stadium, but have been boosted by the return of wing George North.

Wales assistant coach Rob Howley said that Halfpenny would be rested for the clash against the physical Springboks after complaining of feeling light-headed in training over the weekend.

He had been suffering from concussion after a tackle from Australia's Samu Kerevi in Wales' narrow 9-6 victory earlier this month.

"Leigh is out. He did some training on Saturday morning and was feeling a little bit light-headed. It's only common sense," Howley told reporters on Tuesday.

"From a back three perspective, it gives us an opportunity to look at others. Liam Williams has played at fullback, Gareth Anscombe has stepped up there and Hallam Amos has played there."

Amos has been added to the squad after last playing for the side against Argentina in June.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland will likely play Anscombe in the fullback position, and select Williams and the returning North on the wing, leaving Dan Biggar to stay in the number 10 jersey.

Gareth Anscombe will play at 10. Photo: Getty ImagesNorth returned to training on Tuesday after missing the 74-24 victory over Tonga on Saturday with a bruised leg.

Meanwhile, Springboks fullback Willie Le Roux says the Springboks are on the path back to being one of rugby's most intimidating teams.

Earlier this year, they beat England twice and world champions New Zealand, which proved in stark contrast to some of their 2017 miserable performances and results.

The Springboks are making clear progress under Rassie Erasmus, and Wales will provide another benchmark of their progress, having beaten South Africa in four of the countries' last five meetings.

"We went back to our traditional way, how the Springboks play rugby," Le Roux said.

"There was a stage where people did not fear the Springboks any more, or the badge. We are getting that back through the structures Rassie has built.

"Everyone in the team is equal, and it makes a big difference. The guys are playing for each other more and we know what it means for our country back home.

"We enjoy going out and wearing the jersey."

Le Roux did not feature at all for the Springboks last year, and he admits there were times when he thought his Test career might be over.

"I went home for the (2017) June series against France and watched as a spectator, sitting on the other side," he added.

"They set off the flame in me again, and I knew I had to try harder to get back in because it is something special. There were times I thought I would never play again.

"When I came through, the likes of Jean De Villiers and Bryan Habana were there. I am now one of the seniors, and it is a different role on the field.

"I speak a lot and try to talk to the younger guys. Sometimes it looks as if you are yelling at them, but it isn't. It is telling them to look up and see where the space is.

"We learnt a lot from Twickenham (earlier this month). Handre Pollard's kick just touched the upright, and we could have won it.

"These matches are so close. Australia and Wales was 9-6, no tries. They are so tight and come down to marginal decisions."

Wales hosts South Africa in Cardiff on Saturday November 24, kicking off at 5:20pm local, Sunday 4:20pm AEDT, LIVE on beIn Sports and SBS.