Taking on New Zealand at a packed Principality Stadium with 74,000 baying fans under a closed roof in the heart of Cardiff has been likened to the ultimate drug by Wales fly-half Gareth Anscombe.
“International rugby at a sold-out Principality is a bit like a drug and once you’ve had a taste of it it is the ultimate really,” said Anscombe, born and raised in New Zealand but with a Welsh mother.
“It is certainly what lights my fires. There is no bigger occasion really than the All Blacks in Cardiff.
“It is really special, it’s great that we’ve got the roof closed, it adds to the atmosphere… it’s just the best place in the world.”
The roof closed makes for an even playing field for both teams, with forecast inclement weather no longer a factor.
“Both teams want to play quick,” said Anscombe. “I think both teams want to enjoy playing with the ball and with the stadium we’ve got, it’s the best in the world, so why not use the roof?
“It’s great for the spectacle. We expect it to be a fast game… It is one I am really looking forward to, am feeling really good and just hoping I can do my role for the team.”
New Zealand named Jordie Barrett at inside centre for Saturday’s game, with his brothers Beauden and Scott also in the starting All Blacks XV at full-back and lock, and the versatile back was itching for a second run-out in the Welsh capital.
“It was unbelievable last year, closed roof and dry ball and you feel like the crowd’s on top of you,” Barrett said.
“It’s an awesome atmosphere when they’re singing. Last year they weren’t singing a whole lot so hopefully we don’t allow them to continue singing for too long in this game because we know how much it means to the Welsh players on the field.