sport

McBryde ready for Wallabies

Robin McBryde wants Wales to start how they finished against New Zealand when Australia arrive at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

Wales endured a nightmare opening 20 minutes last weekend, losing three players through injures - lock Bradley Davies, prop Aaron Jarvis and centre Jamie Roberts - and with less than 10 minutes of the second half gone they trailed 33-0.

But when the reigning Six Nations champions belatedly got going, they matched New Zealand 10-10 on the second-half scoreboard and enjoyed more than 70% of possession.

If the Wallabies post an eighth successive victory over Wales this weekend, it would leave them reeling from an autumn Test series whitewash of played four, lost four.

Additionally, Wales could then expect to drop outside the world's top-eight ranked countries and find themselves a tier-three nation for next Monday's World Cup pool draw in London.

"We are playing against the second best team in the world, and we are going to have to be at our best," Wales forwards coach McBryde said.

"We've really got to start the game in the best shape possible to give us any opportunity of winning this game.

"We just left ourselves a bit too much to do after the first half against New Zealand. The scores were level in the second half, and we need to start in that same vein of form.

"The character and resolve we showed to get back into the game (against New Zealand) was outstanding. We've got to take a lot of heart from it and hopefully build on it."

Wales boss Warren Gatland has put back his scheduled team announcement to Thursday lunchtime from Tuesday, with injuries continuing to test resources.

Davies and Jarvis are confirmed non-starters to face the Wallabies, while Roberts, wing George North, lock Ian Evans and flanker Ryan Jones are among those battling for full fitness.

"We are going to give some players as much time as possible, so we are looking at Thursday, really," McBryde added.

"Ian Evans took a part in training this morning, which was a positive, but we are not forcing anybody. Thursday will be the important day for us.

"It is something we've had to deal with all the way through the autumn, really. We had a number of injuries coming into the series, so we always knew it was going to be a bit of a test of strength in depth.

"It's not ideal, it does affect the consistency within the squad, but having said that it has provided one or two others with a great opportunity, players like Liam Williams, Aaron Shingler and Scott Andrews."

Shingler and Andrews look set for starting places against Australia, while 20-year-old uncapped Scarlets prop Samson Lee can realistically expect a bench role.

"There is healthy competition," McBryde said. "You want to see players come off the bench with all guns blazing, looking to stake their claim for a starting spot.

"I thought Scott Andrews, considering he has not had that much game-time this season, was able to lay a platform at scrum-time against New Zealand.

"He was up against a formidable opponent in Tony Woodcock, and Andrew Hore is known as a scrummaging hooker, so to come out of that test in that positive manner was hugely encouraging.

"What was pleasing on top of that work Scott did in the tight, was his work in the loose as well. He was hugely effective. Playing against the world champions, you won't come up against a sterner test than that."