Wales fired up for NZ
CARDIFF: Wales have been urged by assistant coaches Rob Howley and Robin McBryde to go out and “make history” with a victory over New Zealand today.
Wales have a disastrous record against the All Blacks, last winning in 1953, but have succeeded in closing the gap in recent years.
New Zealand have made six changes to the side that beat Australia in Tokyo last weekend and Howley and McBryde said the home side needed no motivation come the game at the Millennium Stadium.
“It’s been a great build-up to the game and the boys are really looking forward to it,” said former Wales scrum-half Howley, now the backs coach under Warren Gatland.
There has been, he said, a shared “history and heritage over many years, 21 games in 57 years and they’ve had the better of us over the last many decades, and the boys are looking forward to a great opportunity on Saturday”.
Howley added that the Wales team had been studying recent All Blacks defeats, notably to France on home soil and to South Africa three times in the Tri-Nations.
“We’re very well aware what the All Blacks can bring to the table, bearing in mind that Dan Carter didn’t play in those games that the All Blacks lost.
“The experience which a number of our players have this summer (in the Lions tour) gave them a huge amount of confidence, bearing in mind the national team performed pretty well against South Africa and New Zealand last autumn,” he said.
“We can take some confidence from those performances but disappointed with the results,’’ he said.
Forwards coach McBryde went further, saying the game would “mean everything”.
“It’s rare you get an opportunity to make history in 80 minutes,” the former hooker said. “The players are all aware of what’s on offer: to go out there and make a name for themselves.” – Sapa-AFP