Gatland desperate to end Wallabies run

Rex Christensen
November 11, 2018

Wales have made three changes to their starting XV to face Australia in Cardiff on Saturday.

Adams, a Test newcomer during last season's Six Nations Championship, has maintained impressive form for Worcester, with highly-rated Beard also gaining a golden opportunity as Wales target a first win against Australia since 2008.

"But I see the bookies don't see it's any issue, so we don't mind running as an underdog".

"My main focus is to win games with Bath and be diligent as a professional every day, making sure I'm doing everything I can to become a better player", he said.

The utility player, who has won 116 caps, was drafted in as a replacement for the injured Reece Hodge for three tests against Wales, Italy and England this month and although it is more than two years since his last global, the 34-year-old has not given up on playing at a fourth World Cup.

But centre Roberts, who has 94 caps to his name, believes coach Warren Gatland should not read too much into the Australia side that turns up this weekend.

"We've got to prepare the best we can to get that result and beat them, and that will be psychologically important for us next year because everyone's pretty aware that if you win our group in the World Cup you go into potentially a more favourable side of the draw", Gatland said.

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Cheika and his assistants have been backed by the Rugby Australia board to carry on through to the end of next year's World Cup, however the faith of fans has been steadily dissipating and further losses on tour will heighten the angst. "We're very conscious of that area of the game", he said. "You know me, you know I'm not coming here for anything less than that".

"Lock is a position where we want to create depth".

"Some of the pain and hurt we have felt this year will only help us".

This matters. Of course, the World Cup match between Wales and Australia at Tokyo Stadium on Sunday, September 29 next year will matter more but there is a more-than-reasonable argument to be made that the result then will depend rather heavily on the result today.

Pressed on Australia's 13-game winning streak and whether it could bring about any kind of psychological advantage, Cheika said: "You've always got to look at the 80 minutes ahead of you and everything else is conjecture and small talk".

"The good thing about last week (against Scotland) was that we were under a lot of pressure at times and we showed composure when we needed to, so hopefully that transfers to this weekend".

"We got so close and it was a great campaign for us". We've got no excuse with the people we've got off the bench.

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