| 10.9°C Belfast

Gatland urges Wales to thrive under pressure

Wales head coach Warren Gatland wants his players to show they can handle the pressure of being favourites for tomorrow's clash against Australia.

Despite suffering 13 successive losses to the Wallabies, Wales are fancied in many quarters.

While Wales are on a six-match winning run against all opponents this year, Australia have claimed just three victories from 10 starts.

"We are disappointed with the run of losses we've had against them," Gatland said. "But if you look at how close a lot of those games have been, I think there's been something like seven points, the difference between us and them on average over that period.

"This game is important for the next 12 months. It is not the most important, the pool game at the World Cup (next year) is going to be the most important one.

"This will be important from a confidence point of view. The pressure for us is being favourites and being able to handle it.

"The one thing about Australian teams is that you write them off at your peril. They realise the pressure that is being put on them in terms of coming up to the northern hemisphere and having a successful autumn campaign.

"We are aware of that, but we can only control what is in front of us and our own preparation."

Gareth Anscombe has retained the Wales fly-half role ahead of Dan Biggar, while Worcester wing Josh Adams also starts, with Biggar's fellow British and Irish Lions back Liam Williams joining him on the bench.

Rugby Round Up Newsletter

Exclusives and expert analysis from the sports team straight to your inbox

This field is required


Top Videos



Privacy