Wales should target Wallabies for a November win: Warburton

International
by RUGBY.com.au staff

Recently retired Wales flanker Sam Warburton says Australia is the team they must beat in the upcoming November Tests.

The Wales Test is already a pivotal one for the Wallabies, who have won just three out of their 10 Tests this year as they head to Europe for the Spring Tour.

A poor return on the three-Test tour - with clashes against Italy and England to follow the Cardiff match - would only add extra pressure after a tough year.

Australia has not lost to Wales since 2008, claiming 13 consecutive wins in that time and a clear psychological edge over their northern rivals.

Former skipper Warburton, who retired in July because of chronic neck issues, said a drought-breaking victory over Australia could open the floodgates for them going forward.

The Welsh had a similarly poor record against the Springboks, ending a 15-year losing streak in 2014 and they've gone on to win three of their next four encounters with the Africans.

“When we beat South Africa, we’ve gone on to beat them three times afterwards," Warburton said to walesonline.


“I know they might have been a bit weaker but now when we play South Africa, I felt as a player, we don’t have that sticking point.

“Whereas with Australia, it is there.

“You don’t care as a player, you take the field believing you can win. But you’ve still got that nagging stat in the back of your mind.

“That’s why I think beating Australia would be brilliant."

Wales and the Wallabies will certainly face off again in 2019, drawn in the same Rugby World Cup pool, and a win a year out from that tournament would be a handy confidence boost ahead of that tournament.

“I’d like us to beat Australia and I wouldn’t care if we lost all the other ones because we’ve got them in the group next year," Warburton said.

"I think it’s really important.

“They could be a completely different outfit in 12 months' time but it would be great mentally, knowing when you next face them you can look at them and think ‘last time we played you, we beat you’."

Australia takes on Wales in the first Spring Tour Test on Saturday November 10, kicking off at 5:20pm local, Sunday 4:20am AEDT, LIVE on Foxtel via beIn Sport and SBS.