Williams won’t change things

Shane Williams has urged Six Nations champions Wales to "keep the ball rolling" throughout their punishing autumn Test series. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Shane Williams has urged Six Nations champions Wales to "keep the ball rolling" throughout their punishing autumn Test series.

Wales are unbeaten in eight Tests since the All Blacks pipped them 26-25 in an epic Millennium Stadium encounter last November.

And as the All Blacks arrived in Cardiff on Friday, ahead of a Bonfire Night showdown with Wales’ Grand Slam heroes, Lions wing Williams is relishing the severe examination that lies ahead.

After New Zealand, Williams and company tackle Fiji, South Africa and Australia on successive weekends, producing a combined effect of the toughest Test programme Wales have faced during 124 years of international rugby.

Just to compound the degree of difficulty, Wales have already lost three players – injured British & Irish Lions Gavin Henson, Tom Shanklin and Gethin Jenkins – who helped run New Zealand so close a year ago, while half-backs Stephen Jones and Dwayne Peel are battling for fitness.

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Williams though, believes Wales should not deviate from the thrilling, no-holds-barred approach they adopted in racing to a first Grand Slam for 27 years.

"We will go into the games with the same attitude and mentality as we did last season, which is basically to play the rugby we are capable of playing. It is the rugby we enjoy playing," said the 29 times-capped Ospreys star.

"There is no point changing anything, because things have been going so well.

"We know we can play better than we actually did in the Six Nations, so it’s just a case of keeping the ball rolling and hopefully getting better.

"There is so much video analysis these days, that teams are going to watch us to death.

"But if you do the things you are good at well, then it doesn’t matter how much they actually watch you in analysis.

"We just need to keep playing as we have been playing."

Williams got up close and personal with the All Blacks last summer, starting the second Test in Wellington after clinching his place with a five-try exhibition against midweek opponents Manawatu.

And the memories haven’t faded.

"The All Blacks are a great team, and they played some outstanding rugby throughout the Lions and Tri-Nations series," he added.

"They are obviously going to be on a high at the moment. But in saying that, we’ve got to be confident after what we achieved last season, so it makes for a good game next week. What better team to play against?

"We all know we could have beaten them last autumn. It could have gone either way, and that is something not very often said about games against the All Blacks.

"We’ve got a chance to rectify what happened last November, and it is nice to have that chance.

"From one to 15, they are complete athletes, especially the back-three.

"They are pretty unique, and it is frightening, really, but what better test to have than the All Blacks?

"When I am old and retired, I can say I played against people like Joe Rokocoko, Doug Howlett, Rico Gear and Mils Muliaina and enjoyed the experience."

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