Morgan backs Wales to bounce back

Wing Kevin Morgan is optimistic Wales can exorcise the demons of their heavy defeat to New Zealand and return to the form that won them the Six Nations Championship. [more]

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Wing Kevin Morgan is optimistic Wales can exorcise the demons of their heavy defeat to New Zealand and return to the form that won them the Six Nations Championship.

The Grand Slam-winning Welsh crashed to a 41-3 defeat to the All Blacks, a five-try defeat that put Mike Ruddock’s side on the back foot at the start of their four-match autumn series.

But Morgan insists after being caught cold, Wales will be back firing on all cylinders by the end of the month after they have played Fiji, this Friday, South Africa and Australia.

"We have got to recover as quickly as possible. We have got to put the demons to bed," said 35-times capped Morgan.

"The hope is that by the end of the autumn series we will be firing on all cylinders like we were in the Six Nations Championship.

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"We’ve got to work hard this week so we go into the game against Fiji with a lot of confidence.

"It’s not going to be hard to recover from that defeat against New Zealand. When you don’t perform it gives you an added impetus to train a lot harder than you normally do.

"We weren’t pleased with the way we played. We have had a look at the video and there is a lot to work on.

"We have got to play a lot better than we did against the All Blacks. I think we were a bit rusty.

"The All Blacks are the number one side in the world and obviously we are a bit behind them, but I just think we went into the game a bit cold. We could have done with being together a bit longer.

"We were all slightly off our game and when you are like that against a side like New Zealand you tend to lose, so you have to be 100 per cent on your game against sides like that.

"The size of the defeat was a bit of a shock. We obviously wanted to do better and we expected to be a lot closer to New Zealand than we were, but we have to give credit to them."

Morgan, who is expected to retain his place on the wing against Fiji at the Millennium Stadium on Friday, warns that the second game of the autumn will be no walk in the park.

"Fiji have some talented rugby players, a lot who play in the Super 12 so I’m sure they will be a tough side to beat," said the 28-year-old.

"Because they have so many playing in the Super 12 it will be similar to the New Zealand game so we have got to be on out mettle to get a victory."

Though Wales will be without most of the England and France-based players – skipper Gareth Thomas, Stephen Jones, Mark Taylor and Colin Charvis – they will have tighthead prop Chris Horsman at their disposal it was confirmed.

Horsman has been released by his club Worcester for the weekend despite the game not being covered by the International Rugby Board regulations on player availability.

British & Irish Lions scrum-half Dwayne Peel will not be risked as he continues to recover from ankle surgery.

Peel will be given an extra week’s rehabilitation and is expected be available to start for Wales against South Africa on November 19.

Mefin Davies has been released by Gloucester and is available to play while Martyn Williams returned to training after missing the All Blacks defeat following the death of his mother.

Over 60,000 tickets have been sold for the game, breaking a 41-year-old attendance record for the fixture.

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