Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has no illusions re Wales
May 15, 2012 Leave a comment
|Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has no illusions about the threat Wales will pose in the three Test Castrol EDGE Test series which kicks off on Saturday 9 June at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The reigning Six Nations champions today named a 38-man playing group that will prepare for next month’s tour.
“After winning the Six Nations so impressively, there’s no doubt that Wales see this tour as the chance to take the next step,” Deans says.
“They were quite vocal about that at the end of the tournament, saying it was time they beat one of the major Southern Hemisphere nations. It was also clear, when we were in Cardiff last December for the James Bevan Trophy Test, that they believe that goal is within their reach.”
Wales finished fourth at last year’s Rugby World Cup before achieving a second Grand Slam of the annual European Six Nations tournament in five years, after also having swept all before them in the 2008 edition of the competition.
“The core of the Welsh squad has been together for a long time, and they are used to being successful,” Deans says.
“You only have to look at the settled nature of the squad they have named this morning – there are very few injuries. The players all want to be on this trip. That, in itself, is a statement of their intent.”
The Qantas Wallabies enjoyed two narrow wins over Wales last year: firstly 21-18 in the Bronze Medal final at the 2001 Rugby World Cup, before repeating the dose with a 24-18 success in the one off Test for the James Bevan Trophy at the end of last year’s brief Spring Tour.
Next month’s visit is the seventh by a Welsh team to Australia.
In all, nine matches have been played, with the 19-16 win by Wales on debut at Sydney in 1969, the sole victory secured to date by the visitors from those matches.
Deans says it is an indicator of the depth that has developed in Welsh rugby in recent seasons that just four of the players named in the expanded squad have not played for the national senior squad before.
As well as the three-Test Castrol EDGE Rugby series against the Qantas Wallabies, with the Tests in Brisbane (June 9), Melbourne (June 16) and Sydney (June 23), Wales will also play a midweek match against the leaders of the Australian conference in the FX Pro Super Rugby competition, the Brumbies, at Canberra on Tuesday June 9.
The 2012 Test Match schedule kicks off when the Qantas Wallabies host Scotland at Newcastle on Tuesday June 5. The Scotland squad for its visit is expected to be named shortly.
Extended Training Squad For Castrol EDGE Wales Tour 2012
BACKS: Ashley BECK, Dan BIGGAR, Andrew BISHOP, Aled BREW, Alex CUTHBERT, Jonathan DAVIES, Leigh HALFPENNY, Will HARRIES, James HOOK, George NORTH, Mike PHILLIPS, Rhys PRIESTLAND, Harry ROBINSON, Rhys WEBB, Lloyd WILLIAMS, Scott WILLIAMS, Liam WILLIAMS
2012 Qantas Wallabies Test Match Schedule
(all kick offs: local times)
Castrol EDGE Rugby International – Hopetoun Cup
(i) June 5: Qantas Wallabies v Scotland, Newcastle, 7.30pm
Castrol EDGE Wales Tour – James Bevan Trophy
(ii) June 9: Qantas Wallabies v Wales, Brisbane, 8pm
The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship
Bledisloe Cup – #1
(v) August 18: Qantas Wallabies v New Zealand, Sydney (ANZ), 8pm
Bledisloe Cup – #2
(vi) August 25: Qantas Wallabies v New Zealand, Auckland, 7.35pm
Mandela Challenge Plate – #1
(vii) September 8: Qantas Wallabies v South Africa, Perth, 6.30pm
(viii) September 15: Qantas Wallabies v Argentina, Gold Coast, 8pm
Mandela Challenge Plate – #2
(ix) September 29: Qantas Wallabies v South Africa, Pretoria, 3pm
(x) October 6: Qantas Wallabies v Argentina, Rosario, 8pm
Castrol EDGE Bledisloe Cup Test – #3
(xi) October 20: Qantas Wallabies v New Zealand, Brisbane, 8pm
Further Information: Matt McILraith, Qantas Wallabies Media Manager,