New Zealand's Sean Fitzpatrick believes Wales needs to start from the bottom if it wants to win over the All Blacks once again.
Wales begins their autumn series against New Zealand at Cardiff on 30 October. The country has not lost to them since 1953.
Fitzpatrick is an ex-All Blacks skipper and believes Wales's lack of quality at the regional level is a problem.
When asked if Wales could beat the All Blacks at the moment, he replied: “Not right now, I don’t believe so.”
New Zealand is facing off against Wales, while Australia faces South Africa and Fiji at the Principality Stadium.
Fitzpatrick is an ex-hooker who has won 92 caps. He believes Wayne Pivac’s Wales side can be competitive but that the current state of regional play is keeping the national team from its full potential.
Following being awarded the award, the 58 year-old now has more knowledge about Wales's regional rugby. In July 2020.
“They [Wales]Fitzpatrick stated that Wales had performed well in Six Nations.
“It's concerning that so much attention is given to international rugby, and that regional rugby quality isn't as high as it should.
It is not difficult to find good domestic competitions among the most successful international teams.
“You should be able to see the quality of your products.” [English]This year's Premiership was a great success. Just look at Aotearoa, the Super Rugby. International rugby is not for you if your clubs don't support you.
“That's the place we need to be in Welsh rugby. You don't get selected for Wales if your performance isn't good for Scarlets and Ospreys. Our international players need to play more club rugby.
South African teams add value
Pro14 has been rebranded to the United Rugby Championship and could be a major boost for Wales' four regions – Scarlets Ospreys Dragons Scarlets Ospreys Ospreys Dragons Cardiff.
South Africa's top four teams — Sharks Stormers, Lions, and Bulls — have signed up for the 2021-22 competition and will be playing alongside the twelve existing teams from Ireland, Italy and Scotland.
Although the fixture list has yet to be revealed, Fitzpatrick is happy with the additions of four South African heavyweights.
“The South African four teams are the best South African, straight from Super Rugby. But in terms their time zone and in terms their travel, it makes sense. This adds value to our competitiveness,” he stated.
“United Rugby should be a competitive sport and I will refer to the previous post about international players… you can't have a successful brand without having top-quality players.
“Ultimately, the United Rugby Championship might be the greatest tournament. You have such an eclectic mix of teams in it, and extremely, very good international teams.