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Phillips out to eradicate bad memories

Wales star Mike Phillips knows more than most what it is like to experience the pain of defeat against Australia.

On eight previous attempts to lower Australian colours in a Wales shirt, he has failed, although the last two occasions were by a combined total of three points. If that was not motivation enough, then Wales also need victory to avoid an autumn whitewash of four defeats and to preserve their place among the world's top eight-ranked teams prior to next Monday's 2015 World Cup draw in London.

"We lost the three Tests in the summer by a total of 11 points, and teams have gone down there in the past and had hidings. We have to get over that bridge," Phillips said.

"We haven't been far away and we can take confidence from that. But we can also take the disappointments and feelings from those changing rooms as motivation.

"The boys were extremely low and it's a chance for us to get rid of those bad memories."

Wales have not won a game since they beat the Barbarians on June 2 this year, and Phillips added: "This is probably the most difficult period of my career.

"It is strange. It wasn't that long ago that we won the (Six Nations) Grand Slam - it's still the same year.

"But that is professional sport and it's about small margins. You have to be positive. We've played well over the last two years and can be proud of that, but have to keep pushing."

Wales head coach Warren Gatland is due to name his starting line-up for the Australia game at lunchtime on Thursday.

Injuries have ruled out prop Aaron Jarvis and lock Bradley Davies, with Scott Andrews poised for the tighthead role and 20-year-old uncapped Scarlets prospect Samson Lee likely to be on the bench. Centre Jamie Roberts, wing George North and flanker Ryan Jones have also been in the wars, although lock Ian Evans took a part in training on Tuesday as he aims to recover from knee trouble.


From Belfast Telegraph