Mike Forshaw expects Wales to encounter “a different animal” from the 2023 World Cup in Saturday’s first Test against Australia.

When Wales last met the Wallabies they posted a record 40-6 victory as Australia’s World Cup campaign unravelled with indecent haste.

With former England head coach Eddie Jones at the helm, Australia made a pool stage exit for the first time after also losing to Fiji.

Jones departed just 10 months into a five-year contract, with Australian rugby chiefs then turning to ex-Ireland boss Joe Schmidt.

Schmidt, who masterminded three Six Nations title triumphs during his stint with Ireland, takes charge for the first time in Sydney this weekend.

“They will be a different side, a different animal from the last time we played them,” Wales assistant coach and defence specialist Forshaw said.

“I think they will be a lot more structured under Joe Schmidt, and they will know exactly what they are going for.

“He is a forensic coach, and we have to be really alive around the middle of the field and at the breakdown. They will be clinical and will want fast ball.

“It is a long time since Wales won in Australia, and they are a different team to play against over here.

“Once an Australian sports team gets its foot on the pedal they really know how to drive it. We will really have to be on our mettle.”

CLINCHER: Nick Tompkins scored the killer try early in the second half for Wales against Australia at the World CupCLINCHER: Nick Tompkins scored the killer try early in the second half for Wales against Australia at the World Cup (Image: Press Association)

Wales have arrived Down Under following a run of seven successive Test defeats that stretches back almost nine months, with their most recent loss coming against world champions South Africa, who won 41- 13 at Twickenham last month.

And their record against the Wallabies in Australia is a miserable one, having lost 11 games on the bounce against them since posting a 19-16 victory 55 years ago.

Forshaw added: “We have had a massive shift since the World Cup after losing a lot of senior players.

“We aren’t where we need to be yet, but at the end of this tour, I would like to think we will have taken some steps forward.

“We are in the business of winning rugby matches, and we need to start winning matches.

“When that starts happening, and I am confident it will, we can really develop over the next 12 months.”

Wales head coach Warren Gatland is due to name his starting line-up for the Sydney Test on Thursday.

Changes from the Springboks game can be expected, including a possible all-Exeter second-row pairing of Dafydd Jenkins and Christ Tshiunza, plus a start for Leicester flanker Tommy Reffell.

It is Wales’ first meeting with the Wallabies in Australia since 2012, and will be followed by a second Test in Melbourne before a tour finale against Queensland Reds on July 19.