Wales could miss stars for All Blacks clash

Taulupe Faletau carries the ball against the All Blacks in 2017. Photo: Getty Images
Taulupe Faletau carries the ball against the All Blacks in 2017. Photo: Getty Images
Star forward Taulupe Faletau will be among four players missing when if Wales host the All Blacks in October.

As reported by the New Zealand Herald last week, the All Blacks could play two additional money-spinning tests this year in Wales and the United States.

Proposals for the All Blacks to play Six Nations champions Wales on October 30 at Cardiff's Principality Stadium and the USA on October 23, potentially at the new 70,000-seat Allegiant Stadium which opened last year for the Las Vegas Raiders NFL team, have been presented to the New Zealand Rugby board.

However the match in Cardiff has taken a blow to its credibility with Faletau and fellow England club players Dan Biggar, Louis Rees-Zammit and Callum Sheedy set to miss the clash.

The match falls outside the official autumn International window so they do not have to be released by their clubs.

The loss of Faletau and Biggar is a major problem for coach Wayne Pivac.

Faletau is in career-best form and a contender for player of the tournament after starring in the Welsh Six Nations triumph.

Kiwi Gareth Anscombe is near the end of a long recovery from a knee injury and could replace Biggar at No. 10. Biggar started all of the Six Nations games, with Sheedy coming off the bench.

Pivac could turn to the old combo of Leigh Halfpenny at fullback, with Liam Williams shifting to wing, to deal with the absence of Rees-Zammit.

Wales Online reported: "The head coach does have potential replacements who could plug the gaps, but let no-one pretend it's an ideal situation."

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