Wales coach Warren Gatland attempted to play down the impact of injuries to his squad after a quartet of his key performers were ruled out of the summer Tests.
Centre James Hook, lock Luke Charteris, flanker Martyn Williams – who all played in the 2010 RBS 6 Nations – and scrum-half Dwayne Peel will not only miss the Tests against the All Blacks but also Wales’ home test against South Africa.
Wales were already without a host of players through injury Duncan Jones, Richard Hibbard, Dafydd Jones, Dan Lydiate, Gareth Cooper, Tom Shanklin and Mark Jones all unable to partake in the summer tour.
But with Gatland remains confidence that there is enough strength in depth within the 27-man squad he is poised to announce on Sunday to cope with the absences.
He said: “We have some depth in these positions with the likes of Jamie Roberts, Andrew Bishop and Jonathan Davies playing well at the moment at centre.
“We are okay in the second row as well, and Sam Warburton has been pushing Martyn really hard for a back row spot at the Blues as well as at international level.
“South Africa in Cardiff, and then two Tests in New Zealand, means we have a tough summer ahead of us. But this is exactly the position we need to be in and it will be perfect preparation for the World Cup.”