Wales’ Gough labels All Blacks ‘honest cheaters’

WALES lock Ian Gough has dubbed New Zealand “honest cheaters” just four days before the two countries clash at the Millennium Stadium.

The All Blacks have been accused of exploiting grey areas in the rules with France assistant coach Jacques Brunel – whose side were beaten in back-to-back Tests against New Zealand – claiming they “benefit from a lot of indulgence” by referees at line-outs and scrums.

Former Wales international Ieuan Evans described the tourists as “the best cheaters in the world” and Gough shares his compatriot’s admiration.

“They are honest cheaters,” said Gough. “Whatever you get away with is brilliant.

“If the referees don’t pick them up then you have to take your hat off to New Zealand and say they are brilliant at it and better than anyone else.

“Hopefully the referee will pick things up against us at the weekend, but we have to do things to stop them cheating.”

New Zealand head coach Graham Henry has made seven changes for the Wales clash.

Captain Richie McCaw and star fly-half Dan Carter both keep their places, while there is a return to the side for Rico Gear, who scored a hat-trick in the All Blacks’ 41-3 victory over Wales a year ago.

Luke McAlister and Conrad Smith are reunited in the centres after Aaron Mauger was ruled out of contention with a knee injury.

Lock Chris Jack is rested, allowing Ali Williams and Keith Robinson to join forces in the second row while Neemia Tialata has overcome a calf injury to start at loose-head prop.

Mils Muliaina shifts to full-back and there is no place in the side for Ma’a Nonu, who started at inside centre in the 23-11 win over France last weekend.

Andy Goode will start at fly-half for England when they face South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Leicester player replaces the injured Charlie Hodgson.

Anthony Horgan is set to make his Munster return after recovering from a knee injury sustained over six weeks ago.

Horgan is named in a 26 man extended Munster squad for Saturday’s Magners League game against the Ospreys at Thomond Park on Saturday night.

Frankie Roche and Tony Buckley also return to the squad following injury and join the 22 players involved in the last game against Llanelli two weeks ago.

The team will be finalised on Friday.

Meanwhile South Korea set up awinner-takes-all clash with Japan in the final round of matches in Asia’s Rugby World Cup qualifying tournament with a 23-5 win over Hong Kong.

The east Asian duo will meet on Saturday at Hong Kong Football Club, with the winner qualifying for next year’s finals in France, where they will be grouped with Australia, Wales, Canada and Fiji in Group B while the loser will qualify for the repechage and a meeting with Tonga.

New Zealand v Wales: M Muliaina; R Gear, C Smith, L McAlister, S Sivivatu; D Carter, B Kelleher; N Tialata, A Oliver, C Hayman, K Robinson, A Williams, J Collins, R McCaw (capt), Rodney So'oialo.

Munster Squad: S. Payne, J. Kelly, L. Mafi, B. Murphy, I. Dowling, J. Manning, T. O’Leary, D. Hurley, A. Kyriacou, F. Pucciariello, C. Wyatt, M. O’Driscoll, A. Quinlan, J. O’Sullivan, T. McGann, T. Halstead, E. Hickey, J. Hurley, T. Ryan, D. Ryan, S. Cronin, J. Coughlan, F. Roche, T. Buckley, A. Horgan, B. O’Meara.

England: J Lewsey (Wasps); M Cueto (Sale Sharks), M Tait (Newcastle), J Noon (Newcastle), B Cohen (Northampton); A Goode (Leicester), P Richards (Gloucester); P Vickery (Wasps), L Mears (Bath), J White (Leicester), T Palmer (Wasps), C Jones (Sale Sharks), J Worsley (Wasps), P Sanderson (Worcester), M Corry (Leicester, capt).

Replacements: G Chuter (Leicester), T Payne (Wasps), B Kay (Leicester), L Moody (Leicester), S Perry (Bristol), T Flood (Newcastle), M van Gisbergen (Wasps).

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