Guscott looks forward to All Blacks-Wales Cardiff sell out

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That's the view of former British & Irish Lion midfield back Jeremy Guscott.

 

He said with several players nearing the end of their careers, there would be a desire to be involved in ending the 68 years without a victory against the All Blacks, but it was odds on they wouldn't do that in the October 30 clash.

 

"New Zealand may not be world champions, but they are consistently the best team in the world, and while Wales have a game in them like England did in the semifinal of the 2019 World Cup, there is no sign that will happen," Guscott wrote in his Rugby Paper column.

 

"Every side raises its game against the best team in the world, but against most opponents, most of the time, New Zealand just have too much skill and talent at their disposal.

 

"It's weird to think that if Richie Mo'unga was fit at fly-half, then Beauden Barrett might not even get in the starting line-up.

 

"My frustration with the game is lessened when I watch the All Blacks play because it is such a breath of fresh air," he said.

 

"New Zealand tinker and change a bit, but they will continually challenge their players with perfecting simple skills – like five attackers on four, four on three, and two on one – and I'm not sure that many other teams practice that. You can also imagine that New Zealand players are still very disappointed if the ball is dropped in training because when they step on the pitch, it is down to business and emphasising the highest standards.

Guscott said there was a time when he didn't want New Zealand to dominate international rugby but they deserved to because of the quality of players like Brodie Retallick, Barrett, Mo'unga and Damian McKenzie.

 

He said it would be a miracle if Wales won. And he believed that while there was a full house in Cardiff that would be supporting their team, they were just as likely wanting to experience the All Blacks' brilliance.

 

"Just as you would want to watch Roger Federer at his best in tennis, or Pele and the Brazilian football side of the 1970s, it is the same with the All Blacks," he said.

 

At the same time, Guscott felt that despite recent criticism of South Africa, he still believed they could be dangerous if what he called the best backline in the world clicked.

 

Makazole Mapimpi, Cheslin Kolbe and Willie le Roux were capable of scoring dazzling tries, although it sometimes took a long time to get to that point.

 

"I look forward to seeing the Springboks play New Zealand and see how their tactics hold up against a high quality all-court game. If New Zealand make mistakes South Africa are quite capable of strangling them – and it should also be remembered that New Zealand kick as much as any side, and can be boring when they are nullified," he said.

 

But with the Wales Test the first game in the autumn series for Wales, Guscott could not see them stopping the New Zealanders.

 

"The All Blacks will arrive hardened by the Rugby Championship, and it could be a 20 to 30 point gap against the Six Nations champions," he said.

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