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North relishing All Blacks challenge

Giant wing George North says New Zealand set the standard Wales must aspire to as they look to try and record a first win over the All Blacks since 1953.

Wales, hurting from a 3-0 series defeat to Australia in the summer that saw the sides separated by just 11 points across the three Tests, will face Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and the Wallabies during a bruising autumn campaign.

North, whose combination of pace and power took the rugby world by storm last season, said: "I saw the highlights of their (New Zealand's) game against Australia. It looked like a great game. It was 18-all and New Zealand were going for a record number of wins and that kind of sets the standard."

He added: "If those two can battle for 80 minutes and it comes down to a drop-goal, I think that's the standard we have got to try and compete at if we want to be top three in the world."

But the Scarlets three-quarter was quick to point out there are flaws in the All Blacks' game that Wales can look to exploit.

"Every team has got its negative points where you can beat them," he said. "When it comes to the game you have just got to play what you see.

"If they look at us, they can see ways they can beat us but I'm sure we will sit down, analyse their game and work out different ways of having a crack at them.

"I played the All Blacks in my first home series. It was my third cap. I think I'm an older, wiser player. My game has come on a lot since then. You want to get on the pitch to get experience against the world's best team.

"Leading into this game it will be much the same, I'm still learning here and there but, hopefully, the stuff I have picked up over the past few years I can put into practice, if selected."


From Belfast Telegraph