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Wayne Pivac

Wayne Pivac during training.

‘Belief the key for Wales’, says Wayne Pivac

Wayne Pivac has told his Wales players to build on the performances in South Africa and go out on pitch with confidence if they are to make history this Saturday.

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Wales face New Zealand at the Principality Stadium on Saturday chasing their first victory over the All Blacks in 69 years. Prior to this summer’s test series, they had never beaten South Africa on their own patch but beat the Springboks in the second test.

And Pivac and his players have left no stone unturned as they bid to make more history this weekend.  “We went to South Africa on a bit of a mission and we were lucky enough to create some history there,” said Pivac. “We’ve talked about that, and we’ve really, really worked hard in the last week or so.

“With another 48 hours to go, it’s now about mental preparation and believing we can do it. We’ve got to go out there with that belief and put it out there on the park for 80 minutes.

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“It’s one of those records, as a Welshman, you want to break that hoodoo. We’ll do everything we can to do that.

“We want to win every game we play now. We want to build on the performances in South Africa, where I think we improved in a lot of areas – the set-piece and the forward exchanges.

“We need to make sure we keep building on that. What better side to come up against than New Zealand, who probably haven’t had their best season. When you see the team sheet, it’s quality. But we’re there to win it.”

Despite having endured a turbulent season New Zealand bounced back to win both the Bledisloe Cup and the Rugby Championship. They have named a start-studded side to face Wales in Cardiff, and Pivac is full of respect for the threats New Zealand will pose.

“It’s a very strong and exciting team,” said Pivac when asked his thoughts on the All Blacks side. “There’s a lot of quality throughout. We’re expecting them to play, given the conditions we’ll be in.

“We’ve got to be ready for that. We’ve got to be able to match that speed and slow their ball down at the breakdown. That’ll be a big part of our game.”

Pivac has named a strong side of his own for this Saturday’s test match but perhaps the most eye-catching selection is that of the uncapped Rio Dyer, who starts on the wing.

Dyer has been in blistering form for the Dragons this season, and Pivac is confident he will give a good account of himself when he comes up against the likes of Sevu Reece and Caleb Clarke this weekend.

“He’s really excited,” said Pivac. “He’s a young man that’s in form. He’s been playing well with the Dragons.

“He’s been training well so we think it’s a great opportunity for him. We’ll learn a lot and he’ll learn a lot.

“The senior players are getting around him and supporting him. He’s genuinely excited. He’s a confident young man.

“I don’t think the occasion will get to him. He’s looking forward to testing himself against some of the best players in the world.”

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