Home > Sport > Rugby > Wales can go on to beat New Zealand, says rugby legend Shane

Wales can go on to beat New Zealand, says rugby legend Shane

WELSH rugby legend Shane Williams is confident Wales will bounce back after missing out on a fifth Six Nations title.

Speaking exclusively to The Cardiffian at Sport Relief’s Flagship Games in Cardiff, Williams said Wales are moving in the right direction under the tutelage of Warren Gatland.

Still breaking records: Wales record try scorer Shane Williams

Still breaking records: Wales record try scorer Shane Williams

“The way Warren Gatland’s sides have been playing rugby for the last God knows how many years has won a lot of Championships for Wales,” said Wales’ record try-scorer.

“I think they have got the capacity to evolve and I think the Italy game showed that.

“It’s not all doom and gloom that they lost to England because England ultimately went on to win the Grand Slam and they aren’t a bad side.

“Hopefully Warren Gatland and the team can learn from what hasn’t gone particularly well for them and they will evolve. They haven’t become a bad team overnight.”

The former Ospreys man does however believe that Wales will look back at this campaign with a feeling of what might have been.

Williams, 39, said: “The first half against England didn’t go particularly well but we’ve said enough about that. Perhaps we should have won the Irish game as well.

“So it’s the one that got away really but hopefully the Welsh team and the Welsh management have learnt lots from the England game.

“The Italy performance to finish off shows that we have got strike runners and we can score tries and put teams away.”

One positive to come out of the Championship for Wales was the return to form of Northampton Saints winger George North.

The former Scarlets star finished the campaign as top try scorer with four touchdowns, beat 43 defenders and made 473 metres.

“It’s great to see George scoring tries and I think when he gets involves in games and scores tries Wales do particularly well,” said Williams.

“So it’s good to see him find a bit of form and more importantly a bit of confidence because that’s all you need sometimes.”

The Six Nations is now behind Wales, however life will not get any easier with the men in red set to embark on a three test tour to face world champions New Zealand in June.

Wales have not defeated the All Blacks since 1953 and have never won a test match in the land of the long white cloud.

However, Amman Valley man Williams was upbeat when asked about Wales’ chances of ending a 63-year drought against world rugby’s greatest side.

“I’m particularly looking forward to it because I don’t have to play against them,” joked Williams.

“Look it’s going to be very tough. It’s three tests out in New Zealand, which is never easy but the only way you are going to get better is by playing the best sides in the world.

“It could be nasty as it’s always very tough in New Zealand.

“To face New Zealand in their own back garden and try to beat them is not a very easy task, but I think Wales have got the capability of doing it.”

You may also like
Meet the ex-soldier running 2,500 miles to every EFL stadium for charity
Number of Welsh speakers rises for fourth year in a row
Number of trainee teachers in Wales continues to decline
Green recovery from pandemic ‘best option for Wales’