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'They have nothing to lose': Former All Blacks' warning ahead of Welsh Test

By Finn Morton
Will Jordan scored an exceptional individual try for the All Blacks against Wales. (Photo by Matt Impey/ www.Photosport.nz)

Former Blues captain James Parsons has warned the All Blacks that Wales have “nothing to lose” ahead of their crunch Test clash at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

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After coming fifth in the 2022 Six Nations, winning just one Test against Scotland, Wales defied some expectations to win in South Africa earlier this year.

During the July internationals, South Africa won the first Test by three-points at Loftus Versfeld, before Wales recorded an upset in the second Test 13-12.

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While the reigning World Cup champions won the third match by a comprehensive margin, and wrapped up the series, Wales showed what they’re capable of.

Speaking on the Aotearoa Rugby Pod, former All Blacks hooker Parsons said Wales showed that they’ve “got enough there” during that Test series.

“We know (Wayne) Pivac will be really clear, and he’ll know he’ll have to beat them with attack and bring that rush defence,” Parson said.

“There has to be a sense of belief in that camp. There’s no expectation for them to win, they have nothing to lose. It just is weighed probably in their favour at the moment.

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“If there’s ever a time, you have to look at this season, if there’s ever a time they have to believe in themselves.”

The All Blacks are facing some selection headaches ahead of this weekend’s Test, with captain Sam Cane and Test veteran Dane Coles having been ruled out.

Another challenge for All Blacks selectors will be replacing star lock Brodie Retallick, who received a ban after being red carded in the 66th minute against Japan.

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New Zealand are also under immense pressure to win this weekend after a disappointing, or far from clinical, display against the Brave Blossoms in Tokyo last Saturday.

Six-time Super Rugby champion Bryn Hall believes Wales could potentially “steal” the Test if the scores are close late.

“They’ll get a little bit more of a stronger All Blacks team but they’ve had four losses this year, they’re not playing consistently in the areas that we think they should be every single week,” Hall said on the Aotearoa Rugby Pod.

“If it gets tight and they give themselves an opportunity… give themselves an opportunity to win that Test match, 10-15 minutes to go, put all that pressure back on the All Blacks that’s been given to them all year and they could steal one.”

It was almost a year ago to the day when the All Blacks last took the field at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, and they’ll hope that history repeats this weekend.

It was a dominant display from the men in black, who recorded a comfortable 54-16 win.

After the Test against Wales, the All Blacks will finish their end-of-year tour with blockbuster matches against Scotland at Murrayfield, and England at Twickenham.

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