How to Watch Rugby World Cup: Wales vs. South Africa TV Channel, Live Stream and Odds

Four years on after losing to South Africa in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, the Springboks again stand in Wales' path.

This year, however, it is a place in the Rugby World Cup final, rather than in the last four, to be at stake when the two teams collide on Sunday in Yokohama, Japan.

South Africa's four-point win in 2015 was the 28th time in 31 occasions the Springboks had defeated Wales, but it has also been to proved the last to date as Wales has won the last four meetings since.

South Africa, however, is miles away from the side that has suffered four consecutive defeats to the reigning Six Nations champions. Since Rassie Erasmus took over as head coach in 2018, the Springboks have been restored as one of the most dominant sides in Test rugby.

They might have lost to New Zealand in their opening game but remain the bookmakers' second favorite, after the All Blacks, to win the World Cup.

The two-time winner kept their bid for a first World Cup final since 2007 alive as they ended Japan's fairytale in the quarterfinals last week with a 26-3 win.

It wasn't dazzling, but the suffocating pressure the Springboks defense applied on Japan was a timely reminder that their number one priority is getting the job done, not winning plaudits for their style along the way.

Wales, South Africa, Rugby World Cup
South Africa's lock Eben Etzebeth (L) catching the ball in a line out during the Pool B match against New Zealand in Yokohama on September 21 and Wales' lock Alun Wyn Jones catching the ball in a line out during the Pool D match against Georgia in Toyota City on September 23. Wales will play South Africa in their Japan World Cup semifinal match in Yokohama on October 27. Adrian Dennis, Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty

To suggest South Africa are a side only capable of using brute force and very little finesse, however, would be doing the Springboks a disservice.

Faf de Klerk is one of the best scrum-halves in the world, while Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi are absolutely electric wingers.

With the former ruled out against Wales, Mapimpi—who has scored 13 tries in 12 Tests—will be even more important in a game that is expected to be a close affair.

"It's disappointing not to have Cheslin available as he has been brilliant for us since we first called him up last year," Erasmus was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"We've been fortunate to have been able to be pretty consistent in selection and we've built some nice momentum, but the challenge just got a lot tougher on Sunday."

Wales coach Warren Gatland knows all too well the feeling of being without key players for a match of this magnitude. The New Zealander, who will end his 12-year tenure in charge of Wales at the end of the tournament, was short of options in a number of areas when he picked his team.

Wales will be without fullback Liam Williams, who suffered an ankle training in injury, and flanker Josh Navidi, who has been ruled out for the tournament with a hamstring issue.

As one of the best counterattackers in the game, Williams' absence is a major blow for Wales.

The good news for Gatland is that he can count on a highly experienced replacement in the shape of Leigh Halfpenny, who will win his 85th cap on Sunday.

Jonathan Davies' return is also a boost for Wales. The center was the man of the series when the British and Irish Lions drew their three-match series in New Zealand in 2017 and his absence was sorely felt against France in the quarterfinals.

The Six Nations champions were underwhelming against France and needed a fortuitous late try to edge past Les Bleus 20-19.

The ability to win tight games when not playing well is what separates winning teams from pretenders and Gatland is desperate for his players to make the opportunity count on Sunday.

Wales has never reached a World Cup final before and the Webb Ellis Cup is the only title that has eluded Gatland as coach, both in club and Test rugby.

In 12 years in charge of Wales, the New Zealander has won four Six Nations titles—including three Grand Slams—and briefly took his team to be the No. 1 ranked side in the world.

The World Cup, however, remains the ultimate goal.

"Winning the World Cup is one of the things you have to dream about and I am probably the greatest optimist in terms of believing something is possible and that there is a dream," Gatland told The Guardian.

"If you don't have that attitude and portray it it will not happen."

Here's everything you need to know ahead of Sunday.

When and where is the game?

Wales takes on South Africa at the International Stadium in Yokohama on Sunday, October 27.

Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET).

TV coverage

The game will be live both on NBC Sports Gold—a single match pass costs $29.99—and will be re-aired on NBCSN.

Live stream

Fans can follow the action in several ways. Live streams will be available via NBCSportsGold.com and NBC will broadcast the matches on desktop, mobile tablet and connected devices.

Live streams will also be available via Apple and Android devices, as well as Amazon Fire TV, Roku and fuboTV.

Series record

Sunday will be the 36th meeting between South Africa and Wales. The Springboks hold the upper hand in the series, winning on 28 occasions to Wales' six, but have lost the last four consecutive games against their semifinal opponents.

South Africa has won both meetings at the World Cup, defeating Wales 17-16 in the pool stage in 2011 and 23-19 in the quarterfinals four years ago.

Odds

According to Oddschecker, South Africa is an 8/25 favorite, while Wales is a 27/10 underdog and the draw is at 24/1.

The over/under line in terms of total points scored is set at 40.5.

How to Watch Rugby World Cup: Wales vs. South Africa TV Channel, Live Stream and Odds | Sports