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Warburton keen to end jinx

Sam Warburton admits his patience has been stretched by Wales' repeated failure to claim a major southern hemisphere scalp.

Despite winning two Six Nations Grand Slam titles and reaching last year's World Cup semi-finals - Wales' best performance on the global stage since 1987 - in recent seasons, they still cannot crack the code of how to beat New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

When the Wallabies arrive in Cardiff on Saturday for Wales' autumn international series finale, it will be the 56th Test match of head coach Warren Gatland's reign. And the record during that time against the sport's superpowers shows one victory - against Australia four years ago - and 19 defeats. "It has got to the stage now where enough is enough," Warburton said.

Even Wales captain Warburton, who only made his Test debut in 2009, has experienced 10 losses at the hands of the All Blacks, Springboks and Wallabies.

Warburton added: "I said to the players before the New Zealand game that I've only been involved (with Wales) for three or four years and it is already getting on my nerves, this whole southern hemisphere scalp.

"I don't know how the likes of Ryan (Jones) and Mike (Phillips) - players who have been around the team 10 years or so - must feel. I definitely feel like that, and I'm sure the rest of the squad feel the same way."

If Wales are to end their long barren run this weekend, then Warburton's battle at the breakdown with Australian star and fellow openside flanker David Pocock will be critical.

Pocock is back after recovering from injury, while Warburton shone against revered All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw last weekend, setting the scene for a mighty showdown.

"He (Pocock) is a real big threat on the ball on the floor, so it makes it very difficult to stop him," Warburton added. "He is a great player, an asset for Australia and understandably one of their best players over the past few years. I think it's great he is back to full fitness.

"It was the same last week when (All Blacks) fly-half Dan Carter went down with an injury. You don't want the best players missing because you don't want excuses. The players prefer playing a full-strength team."


From Belfast Telegraph