Wallabies expecting Lions to appear in Wales

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies lock Adam Coleman expects to see flow-on  effects from the Lions series, when the Wallabies take on Wales on Saturday in Cardiff.

The Lions’ drawn series with the All Blacks in July was based around rush defence and strong set piece, and Coleman said the Welsh would certainly have taken some lessons, and plenty of confidence, from that, under the tutelage of Lions and Wales coach Warren Gatland.

“They’ve spent more time playing together (because of the Lions series),” he said.

“I’m not sure of the number of Welsh players in the Lions but the more time you play with your teammates, the better the combinations are going to be week in week out.

"Definitely I feel like it will have a knock-on effect and I’m sure Wales will be red-hot this weekend.”

Coleman expected that rush defence to rear its head at MIllennium Stadium on Saturday evening.

“They’re going to come with a high line defence,” he said.

“We’ll have to make sure we’re on top of our attack to mitigate that.

“I think you can’t shy away from it. You’ve got to be hard and direct and play footy from there.”

In just 18 months in the Test squad, Coleman has become the leader of the locks, running the lineout calls, and close to the first player picked each week.

The 26-year-old, though, said he felt far from an elder statesman among the team.

“There’s still a lot of senior guys within the squad that I’m learning off and I’m really enjoying my time (here),” he said.

“I’ve got more responsibility with the set-piece and I’m really enjoying that and I’ve got some great players around me to learn off and feed off.

Adam Coleman has developed into a leader of the Wallabies team. Photo: Getty ImagesColeman has some unfinished business in the Northern Hemisphere, injured in the second of five Tests last year.

The 26-year-old will have an immediate chance to test himself against another 2016 absentee in Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones, an opportunity he was relishing.

“I watched him in the Lions series play very well and I’m sure he’ll sure up the forward pack for Wales,” he said.

“That’s one of the things you enjoy the most is that you get to play against the best player in your position in any given country.

“That’s something every weekend when you run on the paddock, you walk off the field thinking that was a good experience.”

Coleman is yet to confirm his future for 2018, but said on Thursday an announcement was imminent, in the wake of Dane and Ross Haylett-Petty signing with the Rebels.

“It was good to see Dane and his brother sticking together going down to Melbourne,” he said.

“My decision is almost made, I think.

“For me, I just want to really focus on this Spring Tour and I’m really looking forward to playing on the weekend.”

The Wallabies take on Wales on Saturday November 11, kicking off at 5:15pm local, Sunday 4:15am AEDT LIVE on beIn Sports and SBS.