With the eagerly awaited summer test series now only a matter of hours away, anticipation is reaching fever pitch as the best the northern hemisphere has to offer heads south to take on the perennial top three nations in world rugby.
However, while anticipation may be high expectations will not be as such, as the north’s best hope for a series victory will realistically come from England’s match-up with Australia, which is in itself a daunting prospect for Eddie Jones’ men.
Yet, all we can do as fans is remain hopeful and optimistic that on the day our team will turn up ready to fight to the death and with a pinch of luck that the rub of the grass will go our way.
To that end, it seems that one Welsh media publication has been stocking up on their horse-shoes and lucky shamrocks ahead of what can only be described as Wales’ attempt to reach the summit of Mount Doom as they prepare to take the ‘one ring’ to fortress Eden Park and face the might of the All Blacks.
While most pundits have written off any hope of a Welsh victory, with some bookies even giving better odds for the Welsh football team to succeed at the European Football Championships, it would appear that our colleagues over at walesonline.co.uk are not of a similar mindset.
If the article is anything to go by then Wasps must be absolutely ecstatic with the truly world class signing that they’ve ensured by bringing in Bradley Davies who is ranked as a superior option to Luke Romano.
While we are by no means discrediting Davies who is in his own right a well respected international, we doubt that Steve Hansen is losing sleep at the notion of a rampaging Davies exposing and exploiting New Zealand’s “problem area” against a measly ranked Romano at 6/10.
Will Toby Faletau be a concern for the All Blacks tomorrow? Yes.
Is he a quality player of international standing? Goes without saying.
Would you pick him in your team over former player of the year and arguably one of the top three players in the world over the last five years? Neither would we.
In a comparison that doesn’t offer much detailed reasoning expect for a ranking out of ten, this welsh
journo fan is of the belief that Faletau is the obvious choice at the rear of the scrum and that Read is the one with a point to prove. Well look… all we can say is best of luck, we wish you well, and we will see how things play out tomorrow morning.
In a stat which is surely treason against the crown and even bordering on blasphemy, the writer has called into question the credibility of the selection of the heir apparent to rugby king, emperor and God Richie McCaw; Sam Cane.
Granted Sam Warburton is arguably Wales’ best player, but coming into the series off the back of an injury and what with Cane tearing it up for the Chiefs in this season’s Super Rugby, lets hope that the New Zealand media doesn’t catch wind of this sacrilegious carry-on for the health and welfare of the players on the pitch, their friends and family at home.
With the accumulated team scores equating to New Zealand 119 – Wales 115, we can only hope that our Celtic brethren are capable of reflecting the performance with which their media believes that they are capable of for the credibility of northern hemisphere rugby.
However, on the back of recent performances and given the current context, its hard to see past anything other than a New Zealand whitewash of the Welsh.
Having said that, we shall be keenly interested to see our colleagues reaction and opinion to how things unfold over the coming weeks, even if for a laugh.
If only George Hook could possess a shred of their optimism. Better chance of Wales coming away with a series victory though you would feel.