Reminder of what is still to come
– Psychological one-upmanship will be up for grabs when Wales host Australia today in a dress-rehearsal of what has been billed a pool-deciding match at next year’s Rugby World Cup.
The two sides will clash on September 29, 2019, at Tokyo Stadium in what many reckon will be the game that decides the winner of a Pool D that also includes Fiji, Georgia and Uruguay.
So there is all to play for at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, not least to boost confidence levels and test squads’ strength in depth.
Warren Gatland’s Wales come into the fixture on the back of a 21-10 victory over Scotland, their sixth win on the trot.
The Wallabies, coached by Michael Cheika, won just two of their six Rugby Championship matches in an indifferent season, but have racked up 13 straight wins over the Welsh since 2008.
Gatland actually oversaw the 2008 victory over Australia, as part of his first autumn series since taking over as Wales coach following the 2007 Rugby World Cup. But he has since seen his side go down 13 times, on many occasion by a mere handful of points.
Cheika made four changes to his starting XV from the one that lost most recently to New Zealand.
The Australian was adamant that the match was a “great opportunity for us to take their scalp”.
Wales, he added, are “always very competitive and Gatland is one of the best coaches in the world”. – AFP