x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Wales keen on redemption against Wallabies

Unchanged squad from second Test hope to reverse the Wallabies' streak.

Gethin Jenkins of Wales is tackled by Wycliff Palu of the Wallabies.
Gethin Jenkins of Wales is tackled by Wycliff Palu of the Wallabies.

Wales, the Six Nations champions, will look to get something out of their heartbreak tour of Australia with victory over the Wallabies in the third Test in Sydney tomorrow.

The Welsh have had a week to reflect on their devastating last-kick defeat to the Australians in Melbourne last Saturday, which lost them the series and prolonged 43 years of misery without a win Down Under.

The Wallabies have had the run on Wales in recent matches, winning their last six encounters, and are without a loss to the Welsh in their last 10 internationals in Australia dating back to 1969, when the tourists won 19-16 in Sydney.

The Welsh looked set to break their Australian curse last weekend only to concede a penalty when they brought down a driving Wallaby maul, presenting Mike Harris with a shot at goal to clinch a 25-23 win after the siren.

The Melbourne loss still weighs heavily on Wales's most capped player, Gethin Jenkins.

"We should have seen the game out in Melbourne. With only two minutes on the clock we should have done something a bit different, but when it's as tight as that it's the responsibility of the 22 to nail it," the loosehead prop said.

Rob Howley, the Wales caretaker coach, said in naming an unchanged side yesterday: "We have risen to our highest position [fourth] in the IRB World rankings because of our performances so far this season, which can have positive repercussions for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but now we want to stay there and that means coming away with the spoils on Saturday."

Kurtley Beale will make his Australia comeback in this weekend's final Test and will be making his first appearance since coming off with a hamstring injury in last October's World Cup bronze medal play-off match against Wales in Auckland.

Beale's return at full-back comes despite the brilliant attacking player having to defend an assault charge. He missed the first three Tests of the season with a shoulder injury and during that time got into trouble over an alleged altercation with security guards at a Brisbane pub. "It's been frustrating for Kurtley, said Robbie Deans, the Australia coach.

Meanwhile, Scotland will look to secure an unprecedented southern hemisphere clean sweep in a one-off Test against Samoa.

Belying their status as bottom side in the Six Nations, Scotland opened their tour by upsetting world the No 2 Australia 9-6, then followed up with a hard-fought 37-25 win over Fiji last week in sweltering conditions.

Victory over Samoa, who sit one spot above Scotland at No 9 in the world rankings, would complete a southern hemisphere whitewash.

The Scots have never before ventured south of the equator without losing at least one tour match.

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