NEWPORT — 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 (4.20am AEDT).
In Japan the All Blacks dealt comfortably with the Wallabies at set pieces and Pocock is fully aware that against European opponents they will need to be at their best.
“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.”
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Hooker Folau Fainga’a is battling to keep his spot in the side following the return of experienced rake Tatafu Polota-Nau 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.
“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 has of playing over here helps us heaps in the set plays.”
Wales will face Australia without inspirational former British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton, who retired earlier this year aged just 28.
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Pocock and Warburton have waged many battles over the years but the 30-year-old backrower says there is still plenty of quality in the Welsh pack.
“Justin Tipuric and Dan Lydiate are pretty handy,” Pocock said.
“It’s always a great battle at the breakdown.
“I’ve loved playing Sam over the years.
“He was a great player, 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 to be back to bolster the forward pack.
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