Wilson: First Test of the year is always difficult

Getty Images     01 Jun 2016     Getty Images

“The first Test of the year is always hard. It’s a tough one to prepare for, get ready and make sure you understand the game plan. I imagine things will be kept pretty simple for the Test in Auckland – particularly when considering there are a number of players new to the All Blacks environment in the squad,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he wasn’t surprised by any selections due to the strong Investec Super Rugby form of all the players and likes the mix of youth and experience in the team.

“They’ve gone for experience by bringing back players like Israel Dagg. Then they’ve looked to the future with guys like Liam Squire and Elliot Dixon who have both played so well over the past couple of years. The bottom line is the performance of players has been rewarded and they have put trust in players who have done the job before.”

Although it will be a new-look All Blacks team to take on Wales in Auckland on June 11, Wilson doesn’t think combinations will be an issue for the All Blacks.

“I am not so worried about combinations. They have got two weeks preparation and time together which is longer than previous years. So they have a chance to iron out a few of those things.”

As to whether this All Blacks squad is one that can have a successful 2016, Wilson was in no doubt.

“This is a squad to beat Wales, win the Rugby Championship and go on the end of year tour and have great success. Although we have lost a lot of talent, there are players ready to step up and take their opportunity.”