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Wales to take on Springboks in RWC semi final

International | 21st October 2019

Wales have booked their place in the final four of the Rugby World Cup following a nervy victory over France in Oita on Sunday.

Warren Gatland's men will take on South Africa in Yokohama on Sunday, after the Springboks came out on top against hosts Japan.

It will be Wales' third appearance in the semi-final of the global showpiece, having also qualified for the final four in 1987 and 2011.

Wales were dealt a late blow in the build-up to the quarter final, with key centre Jonathan Davies ruled out with injury at the eleventh hour, and France came flying out of the blocks in Oita.

They opened the scoring within five minutes, with lock Sebastien Vahaamahina crashing over from close range.

They made it a quickfire second three minutes later as Virimi Vakatawa, Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont combined to send Charles Ollivon under the posts for a well-crafted try.

Wales replied as man-of-the-match Aaron Wainwright took advantage of a French handling error on half way. The Dragons back row saw the opportunity had plenty of pace in the locker to out run the desperate France defenders and touch down under the sticks to open his side's account for the evening.

Another injury seemed to have dashed the Welsh hopes, as Josh Navidi was forced off mid-way through the first half.

A Dan Biggar penalty brought Wales within two points of Jacques Brunel, but France once again had breathing space as they dotted down for a third try in the first half.

Damian Penaud's offload found the impressive Vakatawa, who beat two defenders to stretch to the whitewash.

France went into the break with a nine-point lead, however they were dealt a devastating blow early in the second half and were reduced to 14 men.

With Les Bleus pressing for a fourth try with a driving line-out, Vahaamahina was caught striking Wainwright with an elbow, which gave referee Jaco Peyper no option but show the lock a red card.

Biggar reduced their lead with another penalty, but France continued to frustrate the Welsh attack. Dillon Lewis and Rhys Carré came off the bench and seemed to have turned the tide, especially at set-piece.

They forced a crucial turnover from a close-range France scrum, before another set-piece, at the other end of the pitch, secured the match-winning points.

A dominant effort at the scrum put Ollivon under pressure at the base. The back row was stripped by Tomos Williams, with the loose possession falling kindly for Justin Tipuric. The British and Irish Lion was stopped short, but Ross Moriarty was on-hand to crash over, with Biggar's simple conversion enough to put his side in ahead for the first and final time.