Wales keen to prove critics wrong - Tomas Francis

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But, so far as the players asked to do the job on Sunday (NZT) are concerned, they can't wait.

 

Wales' tighthead prop Tomas Francis told walesonline.co.uk. "Everyone can say it's outside the window or whatever, but it's a chance to play the All Blacks in a packed stadium – you wouldn't turn that down, would you?

 

"It's another opportunity to represent your country, put on the shirt and give your all. That's what we play the game for ," he said.

 

"The fact we get to play four Test matches instead of three is great."

 

Wales have made a habit of proving their critics wrong. They did it when securing another Six Nations title last season, and they were keen to try to do that again.

 

At the same time, they understood the task in front of them. They know they go into the game, the All Blacks' first in Europe since 2018, as underdogs.

 

"We're comfortable as a nation as we've always had that. It's not something we want, we're happy to be the favourites as well, as a team too.

"It doesn't affect us what people say, it's the belief we've got in the squad. We've had a lot of time since Wayne [Pivac] has come in, the squad has developed, and it's a great opportunity to go and show that.

 

"It's going to be a tough game, it always is against them, but you want to be involved in these tough games, especially with an eye on the World Cup. They're games we need to play to develop our game to see where we are," he said.

 

Proving people wrong wasn't what drove the side. They were driven by proving their potential and showing what they're trying to be on the pitch.

 

"It's a tight group, and whoever takes the pitch will have the backing of the other boys," he said.

 

Not having the England-based players wasn't frustrating.

 

"Those are the rules, and we knew them from the start. It's exciting for the boys who will get to wear the jersey.

 

"Playing against the All Blacks is a great game to be involved in," he said.

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