Leinster legend Brian O’Driscoll believes Wales can shock the All Blacks on Saturday.
O’Driscoll’s Ireland were hammered 66-28 by the Kiwis last weekend but the Magners League veteran is convinced that Wales can create history at Carisbrook.
Wales have never won on New Zealand soil and the All Blacks’ destruction of the Irish hasn’t made their task any easier in the eyes of the bookmakers.
But O’Driscoll, who has played with and against the vast majority of the Wales squad during his time in the Magners League and with the British & Irish Lions, insists Graham Henry’s men are beatable and that Wales have all the necessary skills to shock the world’s top-ranked team.
“The Welsh lads are the sort of side who are very capable of upsetting any side,” said O’Driscoll, who could only watch in horror as Ireland had No8 Jamie Heaslip sent off after just 15 minutes in New Plymouth.
“I didn’t see their game against South Africa but I believe they pushed them very close.
“If they start well and get into a good mindset, then I’m sure they can do extremely well. But 15 versus 15 would be a good start.”
The key to success according to O’Driscoll is winning the battle of the breakdown.
New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw is renowned for his ability to speed up All Blacks ball and slow down opposition possession and O’Driscoll says Wales will have to keep the Kiwi openside and his back-row colleagues in check if they want to be celebrating come Saturday night.
“Wales will have to stop the speed of ruck ball,” added O’Driscoll.
”The All Blacks were able to generate incredibly quick ruck ball and we couldn’t set our defensive line – we struggled.
“They were able to offload and their support play was top class.”