Josh Adams is relishing the opportunity to go up against the best in the world when Wales take on New Zealand in the Autumn Nations Series.
Wales take on the All Blacks at the Principality Stadium tomorrow and are targeting a first win over the All Blacks since 1953 and are doing so without a host of front-line players.
Adams is one of nine Cardiff Rugby stars selected in the match-day squad and he is ready to embrace the challenge ahead.
He said: "I am thoroughly looking forward to the opportunity. To play against the All Blacks anywhere is pretty special. Historically, they have been the best team in the world for a number of years. I was lucky enough to get a game against them out in Japan in the bronze medal match.
"Building on from where we've come from in the Six Nations, through the summer, we need to keep on improving, building, and there is no better challenge than facing the All Blacks.
“We respect them, of course we do, as a fantastic team who have been one of the best for a number of years coming off another Rugby Championship win. That is impressive. They’ve won it I don’t know how many times.
“We respect they’re a very good team but then again we’re a very good team. When we get things right we can hurt any team.
“With the biggest challenge comes the biggest rewards. Why not think of it like that? If you What better challenge for someone who hasn’t faced one of the big southern hemisphere countries before to face the All Blacks.
“That’s our mentality. We’ve got to show up as a team. It’s a massive challenge but I’m buzzing for it, and know that energy is going through the whole squad and we’re all looking forward to it.”
Wales, of course are going into the autumn as Six Nations champions but it is a daunting challenge ahead with the Southern Hemisphere big three and Fiji all visiting.
Under Wayne Pivac, they have begun to develop a more attacking game and Adams believes that could be key to challenging the Southern Hemisphere giants more often and breaking their 68-year black out.
Adams continued: “The Six Nations is an unbelievable tournament in its own right, and we have a good record in that, but showing up in the autumn when we play these big teams, continuing a winning run into the autumn and beating them is a fantastic statement to put down.
“It’s not often you get the big three over to play – especially with Covid in the last couple of years, we’ve not played them at all. It’ll be a massive statement if we can get some victories in this autumn.
“You’ve seen it throughout the course of Wayne’s tenure. Our style of play is very much challenging the opposition with ball in hand.
“You have to play sensibly sometimes. It is Test match rugby. You’re not going to run from everywhere. It is when those opportunities come we’ve got to be good enough to take them. It’s not just throwing the ball around, there are aspects we’ve got to nail. But challenging the team with ball in hand, good attacking shape and structure is certainly something that can put these southern hemisphere teams under pressure.
“I think we’re adding layers to our game every time. Everyone knows where they are and what they’re doing and it’s about nailing your detail and he [Pivac] has put a real emphasis on us having these two weeks to nail our stuff.
“Come Saturday, when the squad runs out to play against the All Blacks, we need to be sure of what we’re doing and we’re 100% confident in our game plan.”