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Wallabies simply too good

This has all the colour and bright lights of a razzmatazz carnival of entertainment from two countries renowned for expansive rugby. It might not turn out that way.

The world rankings alone suggest there is more than a hemisphere of difference between the country who declawed the All Blacks last Saturday in Hong Kong and the one seeded nine in the latest elite list.

It is a recipe for humiliation on your own doorstep. Looking back, Wales coach Warren Gatland has not overseen the gradual improvement of The Dragon. It has been a roller-coaster ride -- all of this while he is mentioned in hushed tones as the most likely coach for the next British & Irish Lions tour. Crazy.

The affable Kiwi holds a well-earned reputation for stirring up trouble like a stick plunged into a nest of bees. He looks for a reaction. He often gets it, but not always from his own players.

Gatland put the Welsh public on notice this week by claiming his players are a match for anyone "when" they have all their weapons locked and loaded.

He knows better than any of his listeners or readers that this is the age of squad depth, where it is rare to be able to draw on all your resources. In other words, there will always be an excuse at hand. He will probably be in need of one.

Verdict: Australia

Wales: 15 James Hook; W Harries, T Shanklin, A Bishop, S Williams; S Jones, M Phillips; G Jenkins, M Rees (capt), A Jones, B Davies, A-W Jones, D Lydiate, S Warburton, J Thomas.

Australia: K Beale; J O'Connor, A Ashley-Cooper, M Giteau, D Mitchell; Q Cooper, W Genia; B Robinson, S Moore, B Alexander, M Chisholm, N Sharpe, R Elsom (capt), D Pocock, B McCalman.