THE All Blacks have moved onto the next and arguably toughest phase of their European tour.
After plenty of sightseeing in Rome, they have landed in Wales to take on a national side in crises following five consecutive defeats.
After the unconvincing 42-10 win over Italy, there are injury concerns over Beauden Barrett (ribs), Keven Mealamu (calf), Aaron Smith (knee) and Aaron Cruden (shoulder).
Barrett is the most serious and will have x-rays to discover the extent of damage to the bone suffered during the first half against Italy.
Back Tamati Ellison is the only player unavailable at this stage for Saturday’s match in Cardiff.
While Wales are under the pump, they represent a significant step-up in class after wins over Italy and Scotland, and the match comes before the tour finale in London against England.
The trip to Rome was a success, both commercially and in a rugby sense, with 80,000 packing into the Stadio Olimpico.
Only 17,000 watched the last All Blacks test in Rome at the Stadio Flaminio in 2004.
The big crowd allowed coach Steve Hansen to test out rookies Dane Coles, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Barrett under pressure, and allowed Julian Savea to add to his remarkable try-scoring record.
The Wellington wing now has 10 tries in seven tests.