Wales braces for bronze encounter

2011-10-20 09:20

Playing against Australia for the bronze medal at the Rugby World Cup at Eden Park tomorrow is not the game they wanted to be involved in, but they will just have to make the best of it, Wales forwards’ coach Robin McBryde has said.

“We’re not taking the Australian team lightly. We know it’s going to be a battle. It’s a game that we need to win and we have make a good go of it,” he said.

“We can create a bit of history away from home, so it’s not all lost. But we’ll look forward to getting that welcome home back in Wales after a win on Friday night.”McBryde believes Wales have the fitness to go all the way against Australia. If it’s going to be a running, open game we’ve got enough to last the pace. We’ve finished all our games pretty strongly.”

The former Welsh hooker says having a new captain in Gethin Jenkins and a new loose forward trio for the match is not ideal, but it does give them the opportunity to see people in a different position.

“Gethin has really come out of his shell on this trip. He doesn’t tend to say a lot. He leads by example, a lot like Sam Warburton, but he has spoken a lot more this week.”

On Sam Warburton’s role since being suspended for three weeks he said: “He’s still got a part to play. He’s still a good professional. He’s shown the guys that he’s behind us. He’s on the training field. He’s joining in with the boys who aren’t involved.”

Welsh flyhalf Stephen Jones says they want to make sure they’re successful and want to finish third. “There are a lot of proud people in this squad and back home who want us to do well and we have to make sure that we perform.”

Jones says they are still disappointed in losing the semifinal but they have moved on and are looking forward to the Challenge that the Wallabies have to offer.

“We’re playing in a World Cup game, you’re putting the Welsh jersey on and that’s a massive honour. Whenever you put that jersey on you have a responsibility to it.

“I’m enjoying playing for Wales and being part of this fantastic squad. There’s a great group of youngsters coming through and I’m enjoying it. If I get the opportunity to put the Welsh jersey on again that will be fantastic. But I’m just enjoying my rugby and that’s what counts for me at the moment,” he added.

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