WALES v AUSTRALIA (Tomorrow, KO 2.30)
WALES captain Sam Warburton admits he’s sick of losing to southern hemisphere giants Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and urges his side to put things right by beating the Wallabies tomorrow.
Their record against the ‘big three’ makes for painful reading since they defeated Australia at the 1987 World Cup – Played 58, Won 3, Drawn 1, Lost 54 – a pitiful success rate of just over five per cent.
Those rare victories came against the Wallabies in 2005 and 2008 and in the Millennium Stad-ium’s opening game in 1999 when they downed the Springboks for the first and only time.
Wales have already lost five times to the Wallabies in just over a year – at the World Cup last October, in Cardiff in December 2011, and in June’s three-match Test series in Australia.
Openside flanker War-burton, 24, confesses the failure to make the step up from Grand Slam champions to major world players is one that eats away at him.
“It frustrates me. Scotland have beaten Australia, they’ve done well against South Africa. It is doable and that’s what really frustrates me,” he said.
“It think it is getting to the stage now where, you know, like it’s ‘enough is enough’ and we have got to beat them.”
Warburton, who wins his 34th cap tomorrow, added: “I’ve only been involved for three or four years and it’s already getting on my nerves, this whole southern hemisphere scalp.
“I don’t know how the players feel and people like Ryan (Jones) and Mike (Phillips) who have been around ten years or so.
“I’m definitely feeling like that (frustrated) and I think the rest of the squad feel the same way as well.”
Wales head coach Warren Gatland is looking forward to the key battle between Warburton and his rival David Pocock who returns to the Australia side after a lengthy absence with a serious knee injury and a calf stain.
“The openside battle will be a fierce contest, you’ve got two quality, world class number sevens,” he said.
“Pocock’s a different player to McCaw – he’s a different threat.
“He plays the game differently to McCaw – I thought it was a great battle between the two sevens last week (Wales losing 33-10 to New Zealand at the Millen-nium Stadium).
“I think in the modern game you need a genuine number seven to compete at the breakdown because in international rugby it’s so fierce.
“It’s going to be another very exciting encounter between two quality sevens.”