Alun Wyn Jones and Wales bidding to make All Blacks history

Welsh lock set to earn a record 149th cap for his country at a packed Millennium Stadium

Alun Wyn Jones says it is “an opportunity to create history” when Wales make their latest attempt to halt New Zealand’s relentless run of success against them.

The All Blacks’ assignment on Saturday — in front of more than 70,000 at the Principality Stadium — sees them chasing a 32nd successive victory over Wales.

They last lost in the fixture 68 years ago, and 25 of those wins were by at least 10 points.

Jones, who wins his 149th Wales cap this weekend and overtakes New Zealand World Cup-winning skipper Richie McCaw’s mark for one country, leads a team minus numerous key players because of injuries and unavailability.


The 20-strong list of absentees includes 10 British and Irish Lions, which underlines the enormous challenge that Wales face.

“Before anyone asks, I am aware of the history record,” Jones said. “All that has gone before us is always there — you can’t change that — but it is an opportunity to create history.

“It is not going to be easy, and they (New Zealand) probably want to continue their history on that side.

“What they have achieved and the individuals who have worn that jersey, you are up against not just a team, but a backlog of quality and players and games, and that is what is coming on Saturday.

“The hoodoo and the record has got to go at some point, but what I have said is that we need a performance.

“Dare I say it, who is the pressure on? Is it us? Is it New Zealand? I don’t know. It depends on the neutral as to their opinion.

“We just need to focus on the rugby, and I think that comes back to the messaging we’ve had from Wayne (Wales head coach Wayne Pivac) and the management - focus on us, get our completions in and our execution, and we will be where we want to be, irrelevant of the result.”

One factor firmly in Wales’ favour will be a bumper crowd, the first time they will have played in front of such an attendance at home since hosting France during last year’s Guinness Six Nations.

And Jones expects a true red-letter occasion as Wales kick off the Autumn Nations Series before hosting South Africa, Fiji and Australia next month.

“We have now seen the re-introduction of fans and the way it has slowly built back up. The things you really miss in stark reality are the things that you miss when they are not there,” he added.

“To have the fans back and that anticipation on a big occasion, in the air you feel the build-up, and that has been no different.

“As a squad and playing group, we are definitely relishing the opportunity to experience what we have missed for a long time, and some may never have experienced.

“A lot of these guys will have been, as I did before I became an international - before I became a full-time professional — to international games.

“You grow up in Wales, that is your education. If you want to use an American term, when you go to the ‘big house’, you are in the ‘big house’ and everyone is going to be there on Saturday.

“It (noise) is just elevated because of the numbers. We’ve done a bit of speaker stuff with the lineout calling just to prepare for that.

“We’ve done it in the past just to create noise and try to make it as close to what it is going to be like. We anticipate all that sort of stuff, and we try to prepare as well as we can.”