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No easy ride for Wales

Wales forwards specialist Robin McBryde does not believe the RBS 6 Nations champions can expect an armchair ride against Australia's scrum next month.

The Wallabies' scrum has been a perceived weakness for a number of years - a factor regularly highlighted by dominant English front-rows - but McBryde feels Wales must expect an intense set-piece battle.

"The scrum is an area of the game Australia have worked very hard on, and they have gradually got better and better," he said. "They are well led by Stephen Moore, who is one of the best hookers in the world, in my opinion. They have been very strong in the set-piece for a while now. We are all just really looking forward to the challenge."

Wales have had a season to savour, reaching the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1987 and then landing their second RBS 6 Nations title and tournament clean sweep of head coach Warren Gatland's reign.

Gatland's trusty assistants - McBryde, Rob Howley and Shaun Edwards - will take charge in Australia for a three-Test series and midweek appointment with the Brumbies while he recovers from fractures to both heels following an accident at his holiday home in New Zealand.

"Momentum is behind us since the World Cup, and we managed to keep that going through the Six Nations," McBryde added.

"I suppose everyone is waiting to see how we are going to react to that first loss we have as a group, but until we suffer that first loss, who knows?

"The players have created their own little bit of history, and they are keen for more. I have seen reports in the papers about it being a long season, but that hasn't been raised by the players at all.

"The players have come in to training and given their all. There is a huge carrot out there - to go down to Australia and hopefully win a series.

"If we win one of the games (Tests), it is something we haven't been able to do down there for a number of years. We have got three bites of the cherry."


From Belfast Telegraph