100 NOT OUT!
Going up against the All Blacks is always an exciting challenge — especially when you face guys like Julian Savea. He is a fantastic winger and some people have said he is even better than Jonah Lomu . . . but Jonah will always be the man in my opinion!
Savea is an exceptional athlete who gets himself in the right place at the right time. He takes his chances very well and pops up where people don’t want to see him. His scoring record speaks for itself but it’s unfair to compare him to Lomu, because who knows how good Lomu could have been with all the facilities we have in the modern game?
The New Zealand squad is oozing quality and Savea is just one example. Sonny Bill Williams is a player I love to watch and he’s shown his quality by switching straight back from rugby league to international rugby union.
George North cannot wait to face New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday
North (third right) and team-mates react after a poor performance against Fiji in their previous Autumn Test
Then there’s Richie McCaw, the face of the All Blacks. He will captain the side for the 100th time on Saturday and that sums up the man … most players don’t get up to 100 Tests, let alone as skipper.
They do have an aura about them because they are the world’s best team. It’s the same with any sports team who are at the top of their game. We just have to go in with confidence and belief in our own abilities, which is something we all have. Over the past few games they have shown they’re human and they do make mistakes. I guess what sets them apart is that even when they’re on the back foot, they still manage to grind out the results. Hopefully we can push them over the edge.
On a personal note, I can’t wait to face the haka again. Some people say it gives New Zealand an unfair advantage and should be banned, but it’s a tradition of the game and I think it should carry on.
It’s supposed to be intimidating, but if you can’t handle it then you’re probably not going to be able to manage a game of international rugby either.
I first faced it in 2010 — it was quite daunting as an 18-year-old lad but it’s just part of the game.
Julian Savea has been compared to New Zealand rugby legend Jonah Lomu
Richie McCaw will make history by captaining the All Blacks for a 100th Test on Saturday
Wales coach Warren Gatland (right) leads a training session after the ‘disappointment’ of the Fiji win
Fiji had their own war dance last weekend, but the less said about that game the better. It was a tough day for everyone involved and we know we didn’t perform well. Warren Gatland was like a disappointed dad in the changing room afterwards. It was one of those ‘I’m not angry… I’m disappointed,’ moments. Our basic skills weren’t there and we got turned over 22 times. That’s not acceptable in international rugby; it was schoolboy level and we let ourselves down. Now we pick ourselves up and get ready to raise our game against the All Blacks.
We had a funny quiz on Monday night that was organised by Gethin Jenkins.
It was a chance to get all the boys together and have a laugh. I was put in a team with Rhys Webb, James Hook and Dan Biggar. On paper we should have won it but we only managed fourth place. The team captained by Bradley Davies took the trophy in the end . . . I’m not quite sure how that happened!
Jamie Roberts and Nemani Nadolo, the huge Fijian centre, swapped shirts after the game on Saturday.
Jamie likes to think he’s the big man but Nadolo beat him there . . . he was massive! It’s safe to say Nadolo’s shirt might be a bit baggy on the Doc!
North is a massive fan of New Zealand’s war dance the haka, performed here against Scotland
Jamie Roberts (right) met his match when he swapped shirts with Fiji’s Nemani Nadola (left)
We’ve been following the progress of the Wales football team in camp.
They’re doing really well at the moment — drawing 0-0 with Belgium on Sunday — and that’s good to see. I’m not the biggest football lover but if I had to pick a team then it would probably be Liverpool. Justin Tipuric and Dan Biggar are the biggest fans in the squad and I’m sure they would love it if Gareth Bale came to visit one day.
Some of the lads have got together to create a cookbook for charity.
Sam Warburton tried making ‘James Hook’s Thai Green Curry’ the other day and the feedback was pretty good. I’m not much of a cook myself but my special recipe is carrot cake. We get most of our food provided for us but Liam Williams thinks he is a bit of a Jamie Oliver . . . really he’s more of a Happy Meal job!
Wales players watched Gareth Bale help his country to a 0-0 draw against Belgium in Euro 2016 qualifying
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