All Blacks ‘just guys in shorts’, insist Canada

Sunday, September 29th, 2019 00:00 |
New Zealand’s All Blacks ahead of their Rugby World Cup encounter with South Africa last weekend. Photo/AFP

Oita, Sunday

A mixture of fear and reverence will accompany Canada when they face the mighty All Blacks in one of the biggest mismatches of the Rugby World Cup’s pool stage on Wednesday.

The possibility of a stunning upset, more outrageous than Japan beating Ireland or Uruguay downing Fiji, does not even register when talking about the world’s best team, stacked with millionaire professionals, playing a mixed amateur-professional unit ranked way below them.

Coming off a 48-7 loss to Italy, the starstruck Canadians are braced for an even bigger hiding by their All Blacks idols but at the same time they are relishing the opportunity just to be on the same paddock as three-times world champions.

“It means a lot getting to play the All Blacks, knowing that if I’m in the game and if I’m going to catch a ball, Kieran Read could be smashing me,” hooker Andrew Quattrin said of the prospect of being crunched by the All Blacks captain and former WorldPlayer of the Year.

“To be able to play them, it’s insane... These are the guys you grow up watching,” Quattrin added. - AFP

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