Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Bullish Wales ready to end Wallabies run

Bullish Wales ready to end Wallabies run

"It's definitely one of the strongest benches we've had for a long time", Gatland said.

"That first cap is always special and you always remember those times but it is about the opposition you are up against", Beale said.

While Australia has enjoyed a prolonged run of success against the Welsh - amassing a 13-game winning streak dating back to 2013 - Horan believes the game will be decided on which team can stay disciplined and control the ball the best.

Biggar and his fellow British and Irish Lions back - Saracens wing Liam Williams - are on the bench, with the Welsh Rugby Union announcing three changes as head coach Warren Gatland hands starts to Worcester wing Josh Adams, Exeter prop Tomas Francis and Ospreys lock Adam Beard.

"We've gone through some of those examples in the last few years when we haven't read a certain pressure situation, where players have occasionally given away stupid penalties, or where we haven't defended smartly. They are competitors in whatever sport". "Teams used to be comfortable putting out second string sides against Wales, they don't do that anymore, they come fully loaded and Australia are fully loaded for Saturday".

He understands his battle with Australia's significant twin breakdown threat of Michael Hooper and David Pocock should go some way towards deciding the outcome.

"We think if we keep the ball in play time we can maybe take advantage of that". We have been working on that and hopefully we can make another step up.

"But if you look at how close a lot of those games have been, I think there's been something like seven points the difference between us and them on average over that period, less than a score in it on most occasions".

England also pulled off an upset 12-11 win over South Africa last weekend to relieve pressure on coach Eddie Jones and ensure the old enemy is confident heading into the November 24 showdown against Australia at Twickenham.

On September 29 next year, the Wallabies and Wales will face off in Tokyo in a match that should ultimately determine the victor of Pool D.

Horan, who became one of Australia's greatest attacking players over a decorated 80-test career from 1989-2000, said one option could be to leave one of the star flankers on the bench in an effort to develop variation and depth in what has been a troublesome position for Cheika's outfit. "If you want to find a pattern, you can find one anywhere".

"I certainly made it clear that the way I want to get to a World Cup is by playing in the Super Rugby competition for a Super Rugby team".

"It's being clinical in those last few minutes", added Gatland, reflecting on Wales' run of losses against Australia. "Coming back in was really exciting for me and it's good to be back in the environment". Everyone has been training hard and there has been a bit of niggle.

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