Wales better prepared for second Test
Wales has warned they will head into the second Test against the Wallabies in better shape after reaping the benefits of two matches on Australian soil and a less-harried preparation.
Lock Alun Wyn Jones wasn’t making excuses, but pointed to Wales’ rather unsettled lead-up to the first Test which they lost 27-19 in Brisbane last Saturday.
The Welsh squad flew to Australia in two separate groups earlier this month in consideration of Ospreys’ appearance in the Pro12 final and the Wales v Barbarians game in Cardiff, while lock Ian Evans missed the series opener altogether to get married.
Jones, who also flew out late so he could attend his sister’s wedding, said there was no doubt the Six Nations champions would be better prepared heading into Saturday’s Test in Melbourne.
“From weddings and finals and all these things that we had before we came out, Baa Baas games, we were as prepared as we could have been,” said Jones after leading Wales’ mid-week squad to a 25-15 victory over the Brumbies on Tuesday.
“There’s no excuses from the last game and there’ll be none going into the next one.
“We’re bound to be better for it after two games and we’ll build from that.”
Coach Rob Howley said it was in Wales’ make-up to up the ante in the second game.
“History obviously shows from our 2008 and 2010 tours that we get better in the second Test so we’re looking forward to that challenge this time around,” he said.
“We desperately want to be at the top and you’re only going to get better by playing Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
“The more we play against the Australians the better we’ll become.”
Coming into the game off a midweek win – albeit against a largely inexperienced Brumbies outfit – would also be a boost for Wales, Jones said.
Howley rested the majority of his starting players for the clash at Canberra Stadium, but with his second-tier side putting in a dominating performance, he’s given himself more than one selection headache.
Veteran five-eighth James Hook and flanker Justin Tipuric were particularly impressive and each scored one of Wales’ three tries on the night.
“I think all 15 (players), all 22 asked questions,” Howley said.
“We’ve got two packs that can go head-to-head and it’s great to have those decisions to make and to have a competitive side.”
Wales are expected to announce their team on Thursday.© AAP 2013
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