‘I don’t think there’s a hoodoo about that’: Wales pointer Tomas Francis rules out talking about the All Black curse
‘I don’t think there’s a voodoo about that’ – Wales mainstay Tomas Francis rejects comments his team has an All Blacks curse ahead of their Cardiff showdown
- It has been 68 years since Wales last managed to defeat the mighty All Blacks.
- The two sides face off at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Saturday
- Seven English-based players missing because he’s out of the international window
- George North, Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi also absent due to injury
Wales will not dwell on their curse against New Zealand this week as they aim to be the boys of history in Cardiff.
It has been 68 years since the Welsh last beat the All Blacks, achieving their third win over them in 1953.
And with seven English players unavailable, as the test is outside the international window, in addition to injuries to George North, Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi, it will be another difficult task.
Tomas Francis and Wales will not be entertained to talk about their curse against New Zealand this week
Liam Williams, who recently had his appendix removed, and Ellis Jenkins, who is recovering from a rib problem, also face a race against time to get fit this weekend, so Wales called Alex Cuthbert, 31-year-old on Monday, who last won a cap in 2017..
But before Saturday’s game, Wales, the reigning Six Nations champions, are fed up with the historical statistics.
When asked if they suffered from a psychological barrier against New Zealand mainstay Tomas Francis, he said: ‘I don’t think so. People used to say that about Australia, then we beat them twice a year (in 2019), so I don’t think it’s a banana peel or there is a hoodoo on it.
“We are not affected by what people say in public, it is the belief we have in the team. We’ve had a long time since Wayne Pivac came along, the team has developed and it’s a great opportunity to prove it.
“It is not what drives us, to show people that they are wrong. What drives us is to demonstrate our potential and show our identity of who we try to be on the field.
“We feel comfortable as a nation, as we have always had that underdog label. It is not something we want, we are also happy to be the favorites. ”
Francis always missed these out-of-window trials when he was at Exeter Chiefs, locked out from being released, but now at the Ospreys he’s happy to be available unlike Dan Biggar, Taulupe Faletau, Louis Rees-Zammit, Callum Sheedy, Nick Tompkins , Thomas Young and Cristo Tshiunza.
It has been 68 years since Wales beat the All Blacks, which was their third win over them.
“If you play in England, you sacrifice at least one game in the autumn,” added Francis, who would have ended his career in Wales if he had not left Exeter, without the 60 caps required to play abroad.
That is a choice that you make. For people who play in Wales, that is the carrot, a game to play in and it would not be otherwise.
‘It was a good time to back off. A no-brainer. The wife is from Cardiff so I was happy, and that meant I had more time at camp, time to develop here, and a change of scenery.
“If you don’t have 60 caps and your contract is up, it’s up to you to make that decision.”
Francis is now becoming a leader, with 57 caps, a far cry from his days a decade ago as an overweight college student in Leeds.
“I pinched myself for my rugby trip, but now I have returned to Wales, I am a little further along in my career, I had to change my mental attitude,” said the 29-year-old.
‘I’m not that rising kid. I have to try to push my standards and be a little bit more of a leader. ”