All Blacks boss Ian Foster responds to Test’s criticism of impoverished Wales by insisting that injuries and missing players are a ‘sign of the times’
- Ian Foster has dismissed criticism of a party organized outside the test window
- Wayne Pivac’s Wales run out of 20 players for the test in Cardiff on Saturday
- The All Blacks haven’t lost a game to the Welsh for 68 years either.
All Blacks boss Ian Foster told critics of his game against Wales to stop complaining, saying injuries and unavailability are a reality of modern rugby.
Wayne Pivac’s Wales do not have 20 players for the test, including seven English stars blocked because the game was organized by countries outside the agreed international window.
That, added to the fact that New Zealand beat the Welsh every time since 1953, many consider Saturday’s result to be inevitable.
All Blacks boss Ian Foster has dismissed criticism of the game being played outside the test window
“I find it very difficult to encourage pessimists, so I will not try to change their minds,” said Foster. “All I know is that it is a test match, New Zealand v Wales. The sign of time is that players are always missing due to injuries and stuff.
‘It’s outside the window and we all know it, but we’ve known it for nine months. Some media are focusing on that two or three days before the test, but it is nothing new here.
‘It wouldn’t be a test week up here without people hitting the game or talking about the haka or something.
“ It is a game that both countries wanted and it has been on the calendar for a long time, so everyone has had the opportunity to plan and prepare for it.
“When you look at teams that are missing players, some of them are injured and that’s regardless of which window they are in. I think the numbers have skyrocketed a bit.
Odds are against exhausted Wales in Saturday’s Test vs New Zealand in Cardiff
‘They are the champions of the Six Nations, that is not done because they do not have depth. Clearly they have some players who have not been released by the clubs but that was always going to happen so that is not a surprise and their preparation has not been affected because they knew it.
“They have a tight five that’s largely intact, a lot of them are Lions from the South Africa tour, so it won’t be a surprise to see them go into that part of the game as one of their key strengths.”
New Zealand has not played in Cardiff since 2017 and has a number of players including wing Ethan Blackadder and wing Will Jordan, who has 12 attempts in nine trials, on his first visit.
Foster told them what to expect from a packed crowd at Principaity Stadium.
“Loud, boisterous, fanatic and red, that’s probably it,” he added.
‘I feel a real advantage in this game and the atmosphere. We know it’s going to feed our opposition, but we have to make sure it feeds our opposition as well. ‘