Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Williams under no illusions

Shane Williams has no doubt about the size of Wales' task against opening autumn Test series opponents Australia next Saturday.

Wing magician Williams has tasted success and failure against the Wallabies during his 73-cap Wales career, and the 33-year-old's most recent memory is one of disappointment, caused by Australia's thumping 33-12 Millennium Stadium win last year.

"We were not happy with our performance against Australia last year. We don't want to leave anything on the field this time," he said. "Australia counter-attack and keep the ball on the field. They have a very talented back three, in the air and on foot."

He added: "Their kicking game last year was too good for us, and they have some of the most dangerous players in world rugby.

"The November Tests are some of the toughest games you will play in your life. It is why you play, to test yourself against the best."

South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand are also on Wales' agenda this autumn, but their first task is how to stop an Australian side buoyant following last weekend's dramatic 26-24 victory over New Zealand in Hong Kong.

Wallabies wing James O'Connor's thrilling last-gasp try and conversion ended the All Blacks' run of 15 successive Test wins and confirmed Australia as major World Cup contenders next year.

But Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards is determined to see Wales at least match Australia's threat.

"Obviously, they are a very formidable outfit at the moment," he said. "The last two Test matches we've had against them, we've won one and they were very dominant in the last one, which still hurts.

"It is something that (Wales captain) Matthew Rees spoke about this week. We are still hurting from that defeat, and we hope to give a lot better account of ourselves."


From Belfast Telegraph