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Wales star Taulupe Faletau struggles to find flaws in superstar Kieran Read

By Andrew Baldock

Taulupe Faletau admits "there are no obvious weaknesses" presented by his prospective opposite number ahead of Saturday's Millennium Stadium clash between Wales and New Zealand. Wales star Faletau, who is rated among the northern hemisphere's finest number eights, is set to line up against current world leader in that position Kieran Read.

Read, the 2013 International Rugby Board world player of the year, is firmly established as a pivotal member of coach Steve Hansen's all-conquering All Blacks.

Read has featured in five winning New Zealand teams against Wales, and Faletau is fully aware of the threat he poses.

"He has been up there among the best number eights in the world for a long time," Faletau said. "He is someone you look up to and can learn from.

"He has so much to his game -there are no obvious weaknesses. He does everything really well, and he can create something out of nothing."

If Wales are to have any chance of ending their 25-Test losing run against the All Blacks, then they will need to produce a vintage performance.

Having been beaten at home by Australia earlier this month, despite outscoring the Wallabies on tries, and then endured a chronic struggle before edging out 14-man Fiji, the form guide suggests win number 26 for New Zealand.

"They are the number one side in the world, and they will be a good challenge to anyone," Faletau added. "But that is what you play for - to measure yourself up against the best.

"It was pretty much a disappointing performance (against Fiji). We got the result, but the performance wasn't good enough and everybody knows that.

"We have to keep hold of the ball, go through the phases and hopefully that will open up spaces. If we make mistakes, New Zealand will take advantage."

Wales head coach Warren Gatland, meanwhile, believes his players must adopt a positive approach.

"You have to play, be direct, run hard and be physical at the breakdown," Gatland said.

"You have to keep possession and look to put them under pressure, and you have to be able to defend their threats because their accuracy, vision, creating space and seeing opportunities are what make them different.

"You saw that against England (earlier this month), who looked comfortable for two or three phases and then for a split-second they over-chased to the open side and left the short side vulnerable.

"The All Blacks spotted that and (Richie) McCaw scored. Those are the things you have to be aware of to be able to stop them."

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