Menu allblacks.com

News

Wales look to contain Carter's threat

Getty Images

Sportal.co.nz     14 Nov 2012     Getty Images

While a dangerous Samoa side are next on Wales' end-of-year agenda on Friday, the All Blacks are looming.

And first five-eighths Dan Carter's inspired display in the 51-22 drubbing of Scotland on Sunday has drawn lavish praise from Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards.

"He is a once in a generation player, isn't he?" Edwards said. "You have to sometimes stand back - it's like watching Lionel Messi play football - and realise that you are just glad you were around to see him.

"I just hope he doesn't play too good against us.

"I thought after Scotland intercepted a Carter pass and scored a try, it was probably the worst thing that could have happened to them.

"He was absolutely breathtaking after that. He virtually took it upon himself to correct what he had done wrong and the tries flowed for New Zealand."

Wales, meanwhile, have not given up hope of midfield powerhouse Jamie Roberts being fit to face Samoa at the Millennium Stadium on Friday night.

While Edwards and his fellow Wales coaches are awaiting results of a scan on lock Alun-Wyn Jones' shoulder, there were positive noises being made about loose forward Ryan Jones and centre Ashley Beck training fully this week after missing the 26-12 loss to Argentina on Saturday.

The Welsh Rugby Union said Roberts suffered mild concussion in the Pumas clash - he went off after 20 minutes - and is following the necessary medical protocols.

"For me, Jamie Roberts is vital because he is the defensive captain. Everyone is hoping he will be right for Friday night," Edwards added.

"If he is not, then someone has got to step up in his place and try to fill his boots, which are quite large boots to fill.

"But I am a big believer that rugby is a team game. If your forwards don't perform, your backs can't perform. I try not to make too much of individuals, more the team unit."

Interim head coach Rob Howley has put back his scheduled team announcement for the Samoa Test until Wednesday lunchtime to allow his coaches and medical staff further time to assess injuries and player recovery.

There are widespread calls from outside the camp for three Ospreys players - first five-eighths Dan Biggar, hooker Richard Hibbard and flanker Justin Tipuric - to start, while halfback Mike Phillips can realistically expect a recall after being relegated to the bench against Argentina.

And lock Luke Charteris has also linked up with the Wales squad after he played for his club Perpignan last weekend. Charteris will be available to face Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.