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Wales Vs New Zealand: Three Exciting Head-To-Head Battles To Look Forward To

Wales take on New Zealand on Saturday looking to end a truly awful 29-match losing streak against the All Blacks which last saw them beat the world champions 64 years ago.

Here are three exciting head-to-heads to look forward to:

1. Steff Evans vs Waisake Naholo

The 23-year-old has made a really impressive start to his Test career touching down three times since making his debut against Tonga in the summer and beat nine defenders in his last outing against Australia.

Blessed with tremendous feet and real pace, Evans always seems to beat the first man. He also runs excellent angles and is really good in the off-load.

While Fijian-born Naholo is also a top quality operator. Really quick with a superb side-step, the 26-year-old is a natural-born try-scorer, having scored ten tries in only 17 Test matches since international debut in 2015.

While at domestic level, he has run in a remarkable 30 Super Rugby tries in only 30 appearances for the Highlanders since joining them from the Blues. Makes things happen whenever he gets the ball and runs really clever lines.


2. Rhys Webb vs Aaron Smith

Webb has matured into one of the best scrum-halves in Europe since making his international debut against Italy in 2012. Always looking to take defences on and play at a high-tempo, the 29-year-old is a constant threat around the fringes, who is excellent at stopping half-gaps and going through them.

Allied to a quick and accurate pass, the 29 times-capped star is a top quality operator.

While the 70 times-capped Smith, a World Cup winner, is the best scrum-half in the world. An excellent decision-maker and extremely accurate box-kicker, the 29-year-old Highlanders scrum-half is superb at controlling matches.

Constantly probing around the fringes with the ability to take advantage of the smallest of gaps, Smith also runs tremendous support lines. Allied with a razor-sharp pass and his desire to always play at a high-tempo, he is an outstanding player.


3. Alun Wyn Jones vs Sam Whitelock

The vastly experienced Wales skipper has amassed an amazing 111 caps for his country since his debut against Argentina back in 2006. He has also made a remarkable nine successive starts for the Lions since his first tour in 2009.

An excellent lineout operator and tireless ball carrier whose tackle count regularly enters double figure, Jones is a world class player.

The 32-year-old who always leads from the front, is also very athletic with good hands and boasts an effective off-loading game.

While two-time World Cup winner Whitelock, who skippers his team in the absence of the injured Kieran Read, is one of the best second-rows in the world.

The 95 cap star who made his international bow back in 2010, is the perfect embodiment of the modern-day second row: a superb lineout jumper and powerful ball carrier with lovely hands and the ability to off-load really well in the tackle.

While the 29-year-old Crusaders forward also puts in lots of tackles and hits plenty of rucks, and alongside Brodie Retallick forms arguably the best second-row pairing in the world.

Hefin Jones, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.