23 November 2012

Wales hoping to put criticism behind them against the All Blacks

Centre Jonathan Davies will return to the Wales side tomorrow to face New Zealand after a spell out with injury and believes they can prove their critics wrong. 

He said: “We just want to concentrate on ourselves, obviously there is criticism coming out, in the public and the press. What people have been saying about us, we don’t really care. We know where we’ve gone wrong and we’ve just need to put that right on Saturday.”

Wales have lost their last five Test matches, including defeats to Argentina and Samoa in the past couple of weeks, and the team are finding themselves under increasing pressure.

The return of Davies from an injury lay-off is a boost for Warren Gatland’s men, but they face a difficult task in trying to get their first win over the All Blacks for 59 years. 

There have been some memorable matches between the two nations in the recent past, most notably in 2004 and the 2003 World Cup.

Wales have had their task made even harder after losing dangerous wing George North to injury. 

His replacement Liam Williams will win only his second cap, but assistant coach Robin McBryde said: "There is no denying it is a blow [to lose North], but we are fortunate to have someone like Liam, who has performed consistently well for the Scarlets, to fill in for him.”

Wales’ last five Tests

The tourists also have injury problems after inspirational fly-half Dan carter pulled up with a leg injury during training on Thursday. 

This would be a huge loss for the All Blacks, especially given the great form that international rugby’s all-time highest points scorer is on. 

Even without Carter to go up against, it is still a momentous task for Wales. The Red Dragons’ points difference from their last six meetings with New Zealand of -124 proves that point.

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