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Page last updated at 06:44 GMT, Thursday, 27 May 2010 07:44 UK

Ex-boss Scott Johnson backing is Wales in June Tests

Ospreys coach Scott Johnson
Scott Johnson is now in charge of the Ospreys

Scott Johnson says Wales have their best chance to beat South Africa and New Zealand in next month's Tests.

Wales host the Springboks at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday, 5 June before heading Down Under for a two-Test tour of New Zealand.

They have not beaten South Africa since 1999 while the last victory over the All Blacks was in 1953.

"Wales have probably got South Africa at the best time they can get them," said former Wales coach Johnson.

"If they can get a bit more buoyant then they've got a chance and I think there's no doubt that they'll do well against them.

"Then going down to Kiwi land, you never know.

"Having looked at the Super 14 this year, it's probably the most vulnerable I've seen New Zealand rugby for a very, very long time.

"If you get them on home soil I think this year might be the year because they are incredibly vulnerable."

Wales' last played world champions South Africa in November 2008 when they went down 20-15 despite a spirited fight-back.

But the last win came in 1999 in the first game to be played at the newly build Millennium Stadium as when Wales won 29-19.

You have to go even further back to find Wales' last win over New Zealand, which was in December 1953 in a 13-8 victory.

The two sides last met in Cardiff last November in which the All Blacks won 19-12.

"It is a while since we beat South Africa, and we want to make sure we are fully prepared and ready to go, come Saturday week," said Wales current assistant coach Shaun Edwards.

"But I found it quite humourous when I heard South Africa had some 'second-string' players, and Butch James' name was mentioned.

"How could you call someone like Butch James [he starts in the centre against Wales], who is a World Cup winner, a second-string player?

"I don't think there is such a thing as a second-string Springboks team. It looks very strong on paper.

"They have got some very talented players, and we are treating it as a full-on Test match, which it is."



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Wales rugby results archive
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Mighty Boks: South African rugby
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All Blacks magic: New Zealand rugby
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Country profile: New Zealand
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