Monday 22 January 2018

Wales relishing Wallabies Test -- Howley

There is genuine expectation as Wales prepare for the first of three Test matches against Australia, in Brisbane this morning. And why not?

Even though Shane Williams and Martyn Williams have retired and Jamie Roberts and Huw Bennett are injured, there is little doubt that Warren Gatland's Grand Slam winners are capable of beating the Wallabies in Australia for the first time since 1969.

Gatland will be another notable absentee because of the broken heels he suffered in a spring fall from a ladder in New Zealand.

However, caretaker coach Rob Howley led his side to victory over the Barbarians in Cardiff last weekend and is hoping to provide his coaching mentor with another boost in his bid to recover full fitness.

"We are well prepared and looking forward to the challenge," said Howley. "We have created some winning momentum, and have built a certain amount of confidence within the squad."

Australia Coach Robbie Deans has made nine changes to the team who lost 9-6 to Scotland and Howley is well aware of the challenge that lies ahead. "Losing on Tuesday will make them even more determined," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Australia -- A Ashley-Cooper; J Tomane, R Horne, P McCabe, D Loane; B Barnes, W Genia; B Robinson, T Polota Nau, S Kepu, R Simmons, N Sharpe, S Higginbotham, D Pocock, W Palu. Reps: S Moore, B Alexander, D Dennis, M Hooper, N White, A Fainga'a, M Harris.

Wales -- L Halfpenny; A Cuthbert, J Davies, S Williams, G North; R Priestland, M Phillips; G Jenkins, K Owens, A Jones; B Davies, L Charteris; D Lydiate, S Warburton (Captain), T Faletau. Reps: M Rees, P James, AW Jones, R Jones, L Williams, J Hook, A Beck.

REF -- C Joubert (South Africa)

Australia v Wales,

Live, Sky Sports 2, 11.0

Irish Independent

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