Wales need to have ‘belief’ – Ken Owens

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"New Zealand are a quality side, but so are we. When you're playing a team like them, you have to believe you can get the win," Owens told The Rugby Paper.

 

"It's about being in the game for 80 minutes and not switching off.

 

"You have to be on the money because they enjoy turnover ball and attack from anywhere," he said.

 

Wales could not go into the game feeling sorry for themselves due to the injuries in their squad, he said.

 

"Injuries happen, and we can't feel sorry for ourselves. The way to look at it is in a positive way, and it's an opportunity for players to put their hands up.

 

"The only thing we can focus on as players is to be excited by the challenge.

 

"We're not just here to make up the numbers this autumn. We need to get back on the horse after the Six Nations – we were disappointed to lose the last game to France. It's all about getting the performance right and winning matches," he said.

Former Wales and Lions wing Shane Williams said when he played the All Blacks, one or two players would beat the drum in the dressing room saying they were going to stop the winning run the New Zealanders had enjoyed since their last loss in 1953. But deep down, he felt the players wondered if they could cause what he called 'the ultimate shock'.

 

"I would love for that run to end at Principality Stadium on Saturday, but it will take a performance of the ages from Wales for it to happen. It is going to be a huge, huge ask," he said.

 

Coach Wayne Pivac needed to impress on the players the priceless opportunity they had to stake a claim ahead of the next World Cup.

 

"If you perform against New Zealand, it shows you can do it against the best and that gives you priceless confidence," he said.

 

That was why it was important for those players selected to fill the vacancies created by injuries to step up and take their chance.

 

"The 68-year hoodoo is a heavy burden for the Welsh squad, but if you carry any seed of doubt in your mind when you face the All Blacks, there is only going to be one result.

 

"Facing the All Blacks is as much a mental challenge as a rugby one," he said.

 

Williams said the All Blacks were starting to click under coach Ian Foster.

 

"South Africa are world champions and top of the rankings currently, but, for me, New Zealand have always been, and will always be, the best of the best," he said.

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