Edwards wants Wales to relish challenge

Date published: June 7 2016

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards is eager for his team to embrace the challenge of taking on New Zealand in their own back yard.

Eden Park will be the setting for the opening game of the three-Test series, with few giving the Welsh a hope of winning one of the fixtures.

But Edwards knows that his players will rise to the challenge in Auckland this weekend as he looks forward to taking on World Cup winners.

"As a young man, fit and healthy, playing for your country, is there anywhere else you'd rather be in the world right now than going out to compete against the best team in the world," he told the WRU's website.

"I have never thought about confidence – I don't know what confidence is. I am a process driven person whereby if you do that right, and that right and that right you have every chance of winning.

"If we don't do it, then we will get penalised by the best team in the world at the moment. We know we are a process driven team and that if we execute then we are in with a chance."

New Zealand were recently named World Team of the Year at the Laureus Awards in Berlin, a feat that Edwards admits was richly deserved.

"We know going into this game that any errors will be capitalised on because we are playing against a team that is the best team in the world, not just the best rugby team. For the All Blacks to be selected, a few weeks ago over in Europe, above Barcelona and above all the American teams is just fantastic," he added.

"To get that recognition is marvellous and the All Blacks have done a great job in selling the game. To have a home record that shows they haven't lost in Auckland since 1994 and that the last time they lost anywhere at home was in 2009 is incredible.

"They are double world champions and they portray a good image for the game of rugby. When they come to the UK everybody knows who the All Blacks are and about the Haka. It's a great way to spread the rugby gospel around the world."