Welsh wary of wounded WallabiesJune 8, 2012, 9:18 pm
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Sam Warburton and his Welsh squad are coming off a Six Nations Grand Slam-winning campaign and can sense a prime chance to beat the wounded Wallabies in Australia for the first time since 1969.
The Wallabies are already missing towering skipper James Horwill and key playmakers James O’Connor, Kurtley Beale and Quade Cooper to injuries and go into Saturday’s test only four days after a shocking 9-6 loss to Scotland in windy and wet conditions at Newcastle.
It was the first time since 1982 that the Australians have lost at home to the Scots, who were a distant last in the Six Nations.
But the Welsh are wary, with stand-in coach Rob Howley recalling the thrashing Wales took from Australia a week after the previous time Scotland upset the Wallabies — at Murrayfield in 2009.
"Australia will be disappointed after their defeat to Scotland, but that will make them all the more dangerous for us," Howley said. "The Wallabies are still the second-highest placed side in the world rankings and we are playing them in their own back yard.
"We don’t underestimate Australia. The last time they lost to Scotland we played them the week after and lost by 30 points. We’re very mindful of their psyche."
Australia coach Robbie Deans has stuck with Berrick Barnes at flyhalf while making eight changes to the XV that started against Scotland. An ankle injury to Joe Tomane at training forced another change, with former rugby league player Cooper Vanu drafted into the starting lineup to make his test debut on the right wing.
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Last Updated May 23 2013 | 10:49 pm