Wallabies ready for any weather

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

They’ll be exposed to the elements on Saturday but Wallabies captain Stephen Moore says Wales’s decision to open the Millennium Stadium roof would not change anything for his side.

Wales have opted to play with the roof open on Saturday, a decision that is left entirely up to the home side outside of the Six Nations tournament.

A closed roof would seemingly have provided perfect conditions for the Wallabies’ attack-heavy style, keeping the pitch drier but the forecast for Saturday looks positive for Australia, a brisk nine degrees but sunny.

The Wallabies want their scrum to improve after a win over Fiji. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyAustralia has played under an open roof at Millennium in the past, beating Wales at the venue in 2010 under Robbie Deans and current skipper Stephen Moore said it wouldn’t change their approach on Saturday.

“I think we always play without a roof so it's [neither] here nor there, I think, that issue,” he said.

“I think the weather is what it is. That's what you get every time you play a Test match, so it'll be no different to that.”

Stephen Moore says his side won't be worried by the conditions. Photo: Getty ImagesThe psychological element of the Wallabies' 11-Test streak over Wales has been dismissed by both side this week and Moore again said on Friday that there was no extra sense of confidence in the Wallabies camp coming into the match.

“Every game is just as important as the last one and I think if you look back at what's happened in the past, however the result, I think you'll trip yourself up a bit,” he said.

“There's a large number of players in this team who probably haven't played against Wales before at all, so they've got no history and it's an opportunity for those players to start to create their own history as we go forward on this tour.”

For Wales, the Test could have far-reaching implications, with the chance to move up the world rankings if they notch a win.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup pools will be drawn in May of 2017, with this Spring Tour the last chance for Northern Hemisphere teams to take rankings points off their southern counterparts.

The top four-ranked nations are all assured of being drawn in separate pools, with teams split into bands based on their positions.

The Wallabies' first Test is against Wales on November 5. Photo: Getty ImgesWales is currently ranked fifth, behind New Zealand, England, Australia and South Africa and forwards coach Robin McBryde said last year’s World Cup reinforced the importance of that seeding, with the Welsh in the ‘Pool of Death’ alongside Australia and England.

“The repercussions of that, we felt at the last World Cup really, we had a short turnaround against quality teams and ultimately that took quite a bit out of us, in the last match in particular,” he said.

“We know we can help our cause in 2019 by bringing a better performance and getting the results at this stage.

“Everybody’s more than aware of that and it does get a little bit more important getting those wins in the next however many months it is.”

The Test between the Wallabies and Wales will be screened LIVE on BeIN Sports 3 (Foxtel channel 515) from 1.00am AEDT. Fans can also LIVE stream the match on Foxtel GO (for Foxtel subscribers).