New Zealand better sports team than Barca - Shaun Edwards

By Owen RawlingsBBC Wales Sport in Auckland, New Zealand
Current New Zealand captain Kieran Read (L) and 2015 World Cup-winning skipper Richie McCaw (R) hold the Webb Ellis trophy
Current New Zealand captain Kieran Read (left) and 2015 World Cup-winning skipper Richie McCaw hold the Webb Ellis trophy aloft
New Zealand v Wales (first Test)
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland Date: Saturday, 11 June Kick-off: 08:35 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport app, Connected TV, and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Defence coach Shaun Edwards says Wales have no margin for error against New Zealand, lauding them as the best sporting team in the world.

The world champions were named Team of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards in April and Wales play them three times on their June tour.

"Any errors by us will be capitalised on," said Edwards.

"You're playing against a team who are officially the best team in the world, not just the best rugby team."

Wales' summer fixtures:
11 June: New Zealand (Auckland)
14 June: Chiefs (Hamilton)
18 June: New Zealand (Wellington)
25 June: New Zealand (Dunedin)

The match in Auckland will be the All Blacks' first since beating Australia 34-17 in the 2015 World Cup final.

That ensured Steve Hansen's side beat Spanish football giants Barcelona who won La Liga and the Champions League in 2015 to take the Laureus accolade.

Great Britain's Davis Cup-winning tennis team, the Golden State Warriors basketball side, Mercedes F1 and the United States Women's World Cup-winning squad were also among New Zealand's competitors for the award.

Wales' display v England was a warning for Kiwis, says assistant coach Ian Foster

"For the All Blacks to be selected above Barcelona and above all the American teams is just fantastic for the game of rugby," said Edwards.

"They are double world champions and I think they also portray a good image for the game of rugby.

"When they come to the UK everybody knows who the All Blacks are, we know they do the Haka.

"It's a great way to spread the gospel of rugby around the world."

More from BBC Wales Sport
Euro 2016: Wales have to get over Sweden loss - Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Jarvis to join Wales before All Blacks game
New Zealand v Wales: Rob Howley wants 'siege mentality' against world champions

Edwards says Warren Gatland's side are "under no illusions of the task ahead" as they look to end a run of 26 consecutive defeats against the All Blacks, stretching back to 1953.

"We're a process-driven team. If we execute, execute, execute, we're in with a chance," he said.

"If we do this right, do that right, you've every chance of winning.

"If we don't do it, we'll get penalised by the best team in the world."

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC