Francis Saili Doesn’t Fancy Ireland’s Chances Against The All Blacks


The only All Black currently plying his trade in Ireland doesn’t fancy their chances against the world champions.

Ireland are set to taken on the All Blacks twice later this year and the Munster centre believes New Zealand will continue to maintain their unbeaten record against the Irish. Ireland have not beaten the All Blacks in 28 meetings, a 10-10 draw at Lansdowne Road in 1973 remains the best result the Irish have achieved against the All Blacks.

“There’s an opportunity for them to do so in Chicago and Dublin in November. To be honest, I can’t see the day coming any time soon. I can’t see it in my head.

“You have to be truthful, although 2013 was a very close one. You almost took us then so there is hope. Back home in New Zealand, the skill level is a lot better than it is here. I am just being brutally honest.  What is happening back home is way up there … it is run down from a young age coming through and is consistent throughout the years,” he said.

Saili reckons their is still a lot of ground to make up to bridge the gap and highlights the weather as a huge playing factor.

“The weather is a factor. It is a big factor. Back home, you’re playing on nice sunny days, you can throw the ball around and that’s the kind of game … free-flowing, getting offloads away, and you can see that if you’re watching the Super 15s. It’s nice to watch although being here is nice variety for myself and taking a lot more tackles than usual,” he added.

The former Auckland Blues man also spoke about Munster’s current plight and says he knew he was coming into a side in transition.

“I came with an open mind. I knew there was a young and new group, that fellas like Paul O’Connell and others would be gone, a team that was rebuilding while making its mark.

“For the rest of the season, our immediate priority has to be to win this weekend. We are taking it a game at a time. It will be tough against Zebre because you don’t know what these guys are going to be like. They one of these joker teams that can go out and pull something out of the bag,” he said. []

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