Deans wary of Wales threat

2012-05-15 09:05
Robbie Deans (AFP)

Sydney - Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said on Tuesday he was under no illusion about the threat posed by Six Nations champions Wales, admitting they are fired up and out to prove a point against Australia.

The Welsh, who play the first of three Tests against the Wallabies in Brisbane on June 9, were beaten by Australia in the bronze play-off match at last year's Rugby World Cup.

It helped condemn them to just one win in their last 16 games against the Tri-Nations teams, who as well as Australia include world champions New Zealand and South Africa.

"After winning the Six Nations so impressively, there's no doubt that Wales see this tour as the chance to take the next step," Deans said.

"They were quite vocal about that at the end of the tournament, saying it was time they beat one of the major southern hemisphere nations.

"It was also clear, when we were in Cardiff last December for the James Bevan Trophy Test, that they believe that goal is within their reach."

Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley on Monday named a 38-man training squad for the Australia tour and is keen to see an improvement on their dismal record against the big southern hemisphere teams.

Deans said it was an experienced Welsh squad and would be a big challenge.

"The core of the Welsh squad has been together for a long time, and they are used to being successful," he said.

"You only have to look at the settled nature of the squad they have named - there are very few injuries. The players all want to be on this trip. That, in itself, is a statement of their intent."

The Wallabies enjoyed two narrow wins over Wales last year: the 21-18 victory at the World Cup, and a 24-18 success in the one-off Test for the James Bevan Trophy.

As well as three clashes with Wales next month, in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, the Wallabies also face Scotland in a one-off Test at Newcastle, north of Sydney on June 5.

Read more on:    robbie deans  |  rugby

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