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Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Wales team for NZ
Dafydd Jones
Dafydd Jones is picked instead of Michael Owen
It has all been games up to now, but on Thursday Wales coach Steve Hansen named what he believes is his strongest XV for the All Blacks Test.

Wales team to face New Zealand

Full-back - Rhys Williams (Cardiff)

Has looked the most impressive strike runner in the Wales squad. His defensive credentials will face a major test against the All Blacks.

Right wing - Mark Jones (Llanelli)

Has the pace and attacking ability, but how will his tackling hold out opposite the awesome Jonah Lomu?

Outside centre - Jamie Robinson (Cardiff)

Jamie Robinson
Does Robinson have the physical game to match New Zealand?
A fantastic attacking talent, but the Cardiff flyer will now have to show he possesses the physical defensive edge against Tana Umaga and company.

Inside centre - Sonny Parker (Pontypridd)

Parker has grown into the inside-centre role and looks to be the long-term replacement for Scott Gibbs. The New Zealand-born player will have plenty to prove against his former countrymen.

Left wing - Gareth Thomas (Bridgend)

The Bridgend man has impressed since his return to the international fold but will have to be on his toes to close down All Black flyer Doug Howlett.

Fly-half - Stephen Jones (Llanelli)

Neil Jenkins and Iestyn Harris steal the headlines, but the Llanelli man gets on with the job and looks to have the number 10 shirt secured.

Scrum-half - Dwayne Peel (Llanelli)

Playing alongside his experienced club colleague Jones will help Peel face the All Black challenge.

Loosehead prop - Iestyn Thomas (Llanelli)

Thomas is regarded as one of the world's best scrummagers and he will need to pressurise the New Zealand scrum enough to tie in an explosive back row.

Robin McBryde
McBryde holds off Mefin Davies' challenge
Hooker - Robin McBryde (Llanelli)

McBryde's tag as a favourite with the management is shown as he retains his place ahead of Mefin Davies, who returns to the bench despite impressing.

Tighthead prop - Ben Evans (Swansea)

There's been little opportunity for Martyn Madden to push his claims this autumn and Hansen has again gone with the power of Swansea man Evans.

Second row - Robert Sidoli (Pontypridd)

The Ponty youngster has been in outstanding form and looks ready to take the step up to the top level against New Zealand.

Second row - Gareth Llewellyn (Neath)

The veteran lock will win his 71st cap on Saturday having started his career against the All Blacks and is eager for another crack at them.

Blindside flanker - Dafydd Jones (Llanelli)

Jones keeps his place and leaves Michael Owen on the bench. This will be a real test - but if he does well he could keep the shirt through the Six Nations and on to the World Cup.

Number eight - Colin Charvis (Swansea, capt)

Doubts remain as to whether eight is the captain's best position, but he has been earmarked as Scott Quinnell's long-term successor and will win his 50th cap.

Openside flanker - Martyn Williams (Cardiff)

The expected battle with Richard Parks for control of the openside jersey never materialised as Williams laid down the law with some authoritative displays.

Reps: Mefin Davies (Pontypridd), Gethin Jenkins (Pontypridd), Iestyn Harris (Cardiff), Ryan Powell (Cardiff), Michael Owen (Pontypridd), Richard Parks (Pontypridd), Dafydd James (Bridgend).

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New Zealand captain Taine Randell
"We respect Wales so this is an exciting game"
Wales play four Tests against Romania, Fiji, Canada and New Zealand

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