Wales boss Wayne Pivac dismisses 68-year drought against All Blacks
A sold-out Principality Stadium – Wales’ first home capacity crowd since February last year – will host the latest instalment.
And it could be a tough evening for Wales, given that their list of playing absentees runs comfortably into double figures and includes British and Irish Lions like Dan Biggar, Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Ken Owens, Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau.
On top of that, Wales also saw New Zealand-born centre Willis Halaholo test positive for Covid-19 this week, meaning 10 days’ isolation away from the training camp.
“Everyone looks at history as you can pull out stats like it being 68 years of defeat,” New Zealander Pivac said.
“History speaks volumes. They are a very good rugby nation and have proved that time and again.
“What we do internally is look at 15 rugby players with a referee in the middle.
“We have got to make sure we bring physicality, we are smart in how we approach the game and our game-management is good, so it gives us every chance to get the win everyone would love to see.
“It is an opportunity to go out there and put on a good performance. 75,000 people have been starved of this, so we’ve got a job to do to make it a great occasion.
“Having been at the Principality, it is easily for me the best ground in the world with the best atmosphere, so it’s a special place.
“I’ve been here seven years now and, honestly, it feels like home. I’ve not seen my family for two years now, and I know they will be supporting and watching.
New Zealand coach Ian Foster believes Wales’ selection issues have been “blown up a little bit” and had no interest in assuaging pessimism surrounding Saturday’s showdown in Cardiff. #WALvNZL #AllBlacks https://t.co/apLxQAaFzd
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 28, 2021
“In the role I am doing, there are a lot of friends and family and others around the globe who are supporting Wales now. We just want to do well for the people of Wales, and those who are supporting us.”
Pivac, meanwhile, confirmed that New Zealand-born Halaholo would have been involved against the All Blacks had he not tested positive for Covid.
“It was unfortunate for Willis,” Pivac added. “He would have been involved in this match.
“He is devastated, obviously, and we feel for him, but now we have got to refocus and look forward to the day we have ahead of us.
“Protocols are in place and we are tested every day at the moment. This morning, all the boys had PCR tests and lateral flows and everybody has come back negative.
“We are doing everything we can, have all the normal reminders, and we have our Covid police on board who are at us all the time to make sure we are doing everything we can to be free of Covid.”
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