• Thu. Jan 27th, 2022

DMC News

We Report As It Is

Landmarks loom for Alun Wyn Jones, Beauden Barrett as Wales face NZ

By

Oct 29, 2021

Milestones await for two of current-day rugby union’s outstanding players in Alun Wyn Jones and Beauden Barrett when Wales face New Zealand in Cardiff on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 18:15 SA time.

READ | LOST TO SA: LIONS PROP PACKS HIS BAGS AND HEADS TO SCOTLAND

Wales captain Jones is poised to play his 149th Test for his country, with the lock set to surpass former All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw’s world record of appearances for a single country in a match that pits Europe’s Six Nations champions against the recently-crowned southern hemisphere Rugby Championship winners. 

Meanwhile, New Zealand flyhalf Barrett is in line to win his 100th cap as a strong and much-changed team head into the first leg of a European tour after the All Blacks’ 104-14 rout of the United States in Washington last weekend.

Beauden Barrett is set to join a very exclusive club.#WALvNZL

— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 29, 2021

READ | FAF DE KLERK HAS SUCCESSFUL HIP SURGERY – ON HIS 30TH BIRTHDAY!

At the age of 30, the two-time world player of the year is one of the few who could go past Jones and New Zealand coach Ian Foster said of Barrett: “He’s just a quality person. The thing I love about him is that he prepares the team first and then himself. He’s very selfless.”

‘Selflessness’ has long been a quality attributed to Jones, who has also played 12 Tests for the British and Irish Lions, with Wales coach Wayne Pivac labelling his skipper as “the ultimate professional”.

He added: “It’s fantastic he is going to go one more than Richie McCaw, but typically for Al, it’s not about him, but the team coming together and having a great performance.”

READ | DID WORLD RUGBY JUST CONFIRM RASSIE ERASMUS WAS RIGHT?

That might be particularly hard this weekend, with many fearing for Wales given they are missing a raft of first-choice players.

Dashing wing Louis-Rees Zammit, flyhalf Dan Biggar and No 8 Taulupe Faletau have not been released by their England-based clubs as Saturday’s match falls outside the International Rugby Board’s designated Test window.

Liam Williams, George North, Leigh Halfpenny, Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi are among a lengthy injury list.

Wales have suffered 31 straight losses to New Zealand since their last victory over the All Blacks in 1953.

READ | BEAUDEN BARRETT TIES JONAH LOMU ON ALL-TIME LEADING ALL BLACK TRY SCORERS LIST

But Pivac, himself a New Zealander, said his side should take heart from James ‘Buster’ Douglas’s stunning win over previously unbeaten world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson in 1990. 

“I could rattle off upsets here – James ‘Buster’ Douglas and Mike Tyson. Every now and then, you get a massive upset.”

Meanwhile Pivac, a former Scarlets coach who has been in Wales for seven years, defended the timing of the match by insisting the Welsh Rugby Union could not turn down the estimated £4 million it will make from the game.

“Looking at the finances in this country, without this fixture, we’d be in big trouble,” he said.

And he insisted his revamped side, with New Zealand-born flyhalf Gareth Anscombe making his first Test start in more than two years following ligament damage, would be inspired by playing in front of a capacity crowd at the Principality Stadium in what will be Wales’ first sell-out international since the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“You can pull out stats like it being 68 years of defeat…It’s 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.”

It was a point endorsed by Foster, who asked what his side could expect, replied: “Loud, boisterous, fanatical and red… I sense a real edge in this game. We felt it in New Zealand when we were first able to fill a stadium after the Covid period.

“We love these occasions, we know it will certainly fuel our opposition, but we’ve got to make sure it fuels us with excitement too.”

TEAMS

Wales

15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Taine Basham, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones

Substitutes: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Seb Davies, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Ben Thomas

New Zealand

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Dalton Papali’i, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Sevu Reece

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *