Rugby

Injury-hit Wales won't fear All Blacks

2016-06-22 08:48
Robin McBryde (Gallo Images)

Wellington - Wales vowed on Wednesday to play "bold" rugby in their last chance this series to notch an elusive win against New Zealand, despite an ever-mounting injury toll in the touring squad.

The Welsh said in-form prop Gethin Jenkins (calf), lock Bradley Davies (knee) and flanker Josh Turnbull (shoulder) had all been sent home ahead of the third Test on Saturday, following winger George North's tour-ending hamstring injury earlier in the series.

However, in a rare piece of good news from the team doctor, centre Jamie Roberts has passed concussion tests and is available to play in Dunedin.

Assistant coach Robin McBryde said the injuries would not change Wales' plans for a match expected to be played at a high tempo under the roof of Forsyth Barr Stadium.

He said despite being 2-0 down, the tourists would maintain the expansive style that had allowed them to challenge the world champions for long periods in the first two games.

"We've been pretty bold and the players have said they want to evolve and move the game on, so it's good to see them embracing that," McBryde said.

"In the last game we were willing to try different things and not everything came off, but we can't be scared of that."

He added: "When you fear change too much you become paralysed."

Flyhalf Dan Biggar said Dunedin was the tourists' final opportunity to end a 63-year losing streak against the All Blacks dating back 28 matches to 1953.

He was convinced they could end the dismal sequence by avoiding the mistakes and concentration lapses that marred otherwise strong performances in Auckland and Wellington.

"We've shown how competitive we can be, but the next step for us on Saturday is winning and holding out for an 80-minute performance," he said.

Biggar said Wales had improved their game on tour and would be disappointed to leave New Zealand without a win, after their 39-21 and 36-22 defeats so far.

"It's not about going down to Dunedin to finish off our season and serenade the All Blacks and say how good they've been," he said.

"It's about getting in amongst them again and pushing them... one more push for beating New Zealand in New Zealand is worthwhile."

Read more on:    wales  |  rugby

 

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