Support our Nation today - please donate here

Four talking points ahead of Wales game against New Zealand

04 Nov 2022 2 minute read
Louis Rees-Zammit. Picture by Nick Potts / PA Wire.

Andrew Baldock

While Wales claimed a first victory over the Springboks on South African soil four months ago, they have not beaten the All Blacks since 1953.Wales’ 69 years of hurtWales have not beaten New Zealand since toppling them 13-8 on December 19, 1953 in Cardiff. The subsequent 32 Tests between the countries have all gone one way, with New Zealand racking up more than 1,100 points in the process and winning 24 of those matches by 15 points or more. Wales and New Zealand have faced each other at 11 different venues – Cardiff, Auckland, Christchurch, Brisbane, Johannesburg, London, Hamilton, Sydney, Dunedin, Wellington and Tokyo – and only once in the professional era have Wales gone close, losing 26-25 in Cardiff 18 years ago.

Which New Zealand team will turn up?

It is not a question that normally accompanies the All Blacks, but 2022 has been a rollercoaster year. It started with two home defeats against Ireland as Andy Farrell’s team claimed an historic 2-1 series triumph, then New Zealand opened their Rugby Championship campaign by losing comprehensively to South Africa. A home defeat followed against Argentina, pressure grew on head coach Ian Foster and New Zealand dropped to fourth in World Rugby’s official rankings, but they responded by winning an eighth Rugby Championship title. Wales, Scotland and England now await.

Welsh wing wizards

When it comes to strike-power, Wales have two of the most destructive finishers in British rugby at their disposal. Gloucester speedster Louis Rees-Zammit has delivered world-class displays in the Gallagher Premiership, while Test debutant Rio Dyer has shone for the Dragons. They have a combined age of just 43, but both players are box-office material, and if Wales can secure them enough quality possession then expect fireworks.

Referee Wayne Barnes joins 100-club

Englishman Barnes will become only the second referee in rugby union history to control 100 Test matches when he takes charge of Saturday’s clash. The 43-year-old follows Wales’ Nigel Owens, who reached the landmark two years ago. Barnes’ first international appointment arrived in 2006, having become a professional referee a year earlier. Barnes, a practising barrister who was born in the Forest of Dean, has officiated at the last four World Cup tournaments and also controlled more than 250 English Premiership games.

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.