Dean Mumm (Gallo Images)
London - Even a severely depleted Wales side will be a huge challenge for Australia to beat in their World Cup 'Pool of Death' clash on Saturday at Twickenham, said veteran lock Dean Mumm.
The 31-year-old - who like fly-half Quade Cooper traversed the Tasman Sea from New Zealand to don the green and gold of their bitter rivals - said it was the start a series of finals which he hopes will culminate in a historic third title on October 31.
Mumm, who captained the Wallabies in their romp over Uruguay, said he felt for England players after the fallout from the Wallabies 33-13 victory on Saturday which consigned them to an ignominious first round exit.
However, the Wallabies are now focused on making it 11 wins from the last 11 meetings with the Welsh who have lost half five key players to injury in recent weeks.
"We have drawn a bit of a line in the sand because Wales is significant test for us," said Mumm.
"There is a bit of momentum for us and we are taking it extremely seriously.
"The mentality in the camp from here on in is every game is important, but this pool game has the aura of a final about it."
Mumm, returned to Australia this year from English club Exeter in a bid to get into the squad, said he had been impressed more by the manner in which Wales held off Fiji in their last game rather than their 28-25 victory over England at Twickenham.
"I think the two games presented different challenges for both the coaching staff and the players," said Mumm.
"It was a very good victory against England but I think the performance against Fiji was more indicative.
"The Fijians were certainly up for it but the Welsh showed a lot of composure in the second-half, both their coaches and players on the pitch.
"They put themselves in a position to win that game after a very short turnaround from the match against England.
"The Welsh have key threats across the field, (wing Alex) Cuthbert and Jamie Roberts plus the forwards which I alluded to before.
"The experience and strength they have in there makes for a very good side."
Mumm, whose late grandfather Bill won a sole All Black cap against the Wallabies, said the battle could again come down to who emerges victorious in the pack.
"I think the Welsh pack is an enormous test for us as a team," he said.
"We are trying to be consistent in what we do and elements were good against the English, but we need to improve again against Wales."
Australia face Wales at Twickenham on October 10.
The match kicks off at 17:45.