Wales hoping to end Wallaby streak

It’s a no-go zone at Camp Wallaby, but Wales aren’t shying away from their miserable record against Australia in recent years.

The Wallabies are currently on a 10-game winning streak which dates back to 2008, and their current squad boasts just five members of the team which lost at Millennium Stadium seven years ago.

And while Australia’s coaches and players are reading from the same hymn sheet – declaring as one that the record isn’t something which they’ve given any thought to ahead of Saturday’s final World Cup pool clash – Welsh star Jamie Roberts isn’t afraid of a little history.

The brutish 110kg outside centre is one of only a few Welsh players to have tasted success against Australia recently, having played in their 21-18 victory in 2008 as well as enjoying victories as part of the 2013 British and Irish Lions squad.

Those victories have been few and far between, however.

“You look back at the last seven years, and it’s the same old story. There is no hiding from that,” Roberts admitted on Tuesday.

However, he hopes the importance of Saturday’s Twickenham clash, with not only bragging rights in Pool A going on the line but also the prospect of an easier run to the final, will ensure Wales aren’t plagued by fadeouts as they have been in previous encounters.

“The last 10 minutes in games against them have killed us on many occasion, and hopefully what’s on the line this week will bring out the best in us,” he said.

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore, backs Drew Mitchell, Quade Cooper and Matt Giteau and lock Dean Mumm are the only current squad members left from the 2008 loss, while back-up hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and Mitchell played in the only other defeat to Wales since 1987 – when they were pipped 24-22 in 2005.

“I wasn’t a part of the regime until this year,” said Wallabies backs coach Stephen Larkham, who enjoyed four wins and one draw against Wales in a stellar career.

“Those old games against Wales have no relevance to this weekend.”

Meanwhile, Mumm says Australia have drawn a line in the sand ahead of the match, which it is treating like a final.

“We have drawn a bit of a line in the sand because Wales is significant test for us,” said Mumm.

“There is a bit of momentum for us and we are taking it extremely seriously.

“The mentality in the camp from here on in is every game is important, but this pool game has the aura of a final about it.”

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