‘I don’t think there’s a hoodoo over it’: Wales prop Tomas Francis rejects talk of All Black curse
‘I don’t think there’s a hoodoo about it’: Wales prop Tomas Francis dismisses talk of his side having an All Blacks curse ahead of their Cardiff showdown
- It’s been 68 years since Wales last managed to beat the mighty All Blacks
- The two sides meet on Saturday at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff
- Seven English players missing because it’s outside the international window
- George North, Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi also missing due to injury
Wales will not be talking about their curse against New Zealand this week as they aim to be the history boys in Cardiff.
It’s been 68 years since the Welsh last defeated the All Blacks, taking their third win over them in 1953.
And with seven English-based players unavailable as the test falls outside the international window, plus injuries to George North, Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi, it will be another big task.
Tomas Francis and Wales will not talk about their curse against New Zealand this week
Liam Williams, whose appendix was recently removed, and Ellis Jenkins, recovering from a rib problem, also face a race against time to be fit this weekend, so Wales called Alex Cuthbert, 31, who last won a cap on Monday. in 2017.
But ahead of Saturday’s game, the reigning Six Nations champions are fed up with historic stats.
When asked if they suffered from a psychological barrier to the New Zealand gag Tomas Francis said, ‘I don’t think so. People used to say that about Australia, and then we beat them twice in a year (in 2019), so I don’t think it’s a banana peel or a hoodoo over it.
“It doesn’t affect what people in the audience say, it’s the faith we have in the squad. We’ve had a lot of time since Wayne Pivac came in, the squad has developed and it’s a great opportunity to show that.
‘Proving people wrong is not what drives us. What drives us is to prove our potential and show our identity of what we are trying to be on the pitch.
“We feel comfortable as a nation because we’ve always had that underdog tag. It’s not something we want, we also like to be favourites.’
Francis always missed these out-of-window Tests at Exeter Chiefs blocked from being released but now at the Ospreys he is happy to be available unlike Dan Biggar, Taulupe Faletau, Louis Rees-Zammit, Callum Sheedy, Nick Tompkins, Thomas Young and Christ Tshiunza.
It’s been 68 years since Wales beat the All Blacks, which was their third ever win over them
“When you play in England, you sacrifice at least one game in the autumn,” added Francis – who would have ended his career in Wales had he not left Exeter, without the 60 caps it takes to go outside the country. play.
‘That’s a choice you make. For people who play in Wales, that’s the root, a game to get involved in that you wouldn’t be otherwise.
“It was a good time to go back. A no brainer. The woman is from Cardiff, so she was happy, and it meant that I got more time in the camp, time to develop here and get a different environment.
“If you don’t have 60 caps yet and your contract is up, it’s up to you to make that decision.”
Francis is now growing into a leader, with 57 caps, a far cry from his days a decade ago as an overweight university student in Leeds.
“I bruised myself during my rugby journey, but now that I’m back in Wales I’m a lot further along in my career, I’ve had to change my mental attitude,” said the 29-year-old.
“I’m not that young boy on the rise. I have to try to raise my standards and be a little bit more of a leader.”