Wales fired up for NZ

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

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

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