David Pocock admits Australia’s lineout needs to improve dramatically if they are to have any chance of putting Wales to the sword early Sunday morning (AEDT).
Last weekend in Japan the All Blacks dealt comfortably with the Wallabies at set-pieces and Pocock is fully aware that they will need to be at their best against European opponents.
“We have got to be getting better quality ball to our halfbacks,” Pocock said at the team’s training base at the plush Celtic Manor resort in Newport, venue of the 2010 Ryder Cup. “That is something we are working on as we know how important it is.
“As a forward pack we had a chance last week to put some work into that and we will continue that today.”
Hooker Folau Fainga’a is battling to keep his spot in the side following Tatafu Polota-Nau’s return to the squad.
The young Brumbies player has been sharing duties with his cousin Tolu Latu and said he has been working as hard as possible to improve his game.
Adam Ashley-Cooper says he’s had three attempts to win a Rugby World Cup, and he’s ‘stoked’ to have an opportunity with Australia.
“From us hookers we have to take more ownership of it as well and do our work throughout the week and hit those spots then take it into the games,” Fainga’a said.
“The experience Taf (Polota-Nau) has of playing over here helps us heaps in the set plays.”
Wales will face Australia without inspirational former British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton, who retired earlier this year aged just 28. Pocock and Warburton have waged many battles over the years but the 30-year-old back-rower says there is still plenty of quality in the Welsh pack.
“Justin Tipuric and Dan Lydiate are pretty handy. It’s always a great battle at the breakdown,” he said.
“I’ve loved playing Sam over the years. He was a great player [and] clearly a great leader and he’s contributed a huge amount to Welsh rugby.”
Key second-rower Adam Coleman has trained this week after missing the defeat in Yokohama due to a groin injury and is likely bolster the forward pack in Cardiff.