Autumn Nations Series: Wallabies desperate to finish end-of-year tour on a high against Wales

Jed Holloway Australia v France ANS 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy
Jed Holloway Australia v France ANS 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

After winning just one out of four matches so far during the Autumn Nations Series, Australia are determined to finish their tour on a high against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

The Wallabies started their campaign with a one-point victory over Scotland before suffering defeats by a similar margin against France and Italy, and had to settle for a 13-10 loss against Ireland last weekend.

Costly loss against Ireland

That attritional encounter in Dublin proved costly as they lost the services of Andrew Kellaway, Hunter Paisami, Dave Porecki, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini and Nic White to injury.

It leaves Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie and his charges in a desperate mood for victory in their final match of the year, according to back-row Jed Holloway.

“I think we need wins,” he said.

“We’re so close so that’s what driving the boys to finish off the tour the way we want to. It’s been well documented the disappointments from the French weekend, obviously Italy and the weekend but we know as a group we’re right there and we’re taking the right steps to put in a good performance.

“Really striving for that is what driving and motivating us for this week.

“Any win at this level is super important but it would mean a huge amount to the group and coaches, all the staff here. We know the work we’ve been putting in, we’re genuinely trying to tick every single box to get that result

“It’s hard to describe what it would mean because it would be that massive to get a result on the weekend. We know we’ll be put in the best position by the coaching staff, it’s up to us as players to go deliver that whatever team we roll out.”

Staying in a positive frame of mind remains key despite their injury crisis and Holloway believes changing focus away from the game could help them turn the corner.

“I wouldn’t go and say we’re flat because we’re 100% determined to finish off the year and tour in style,” he said.

“It’s not like we’re defeated and keen to get home, boys are chewing at the bit to get out there and get a result.

“It’s just finding those moments when to switch off and not think about rugby so when you are on the training paddock or in the meetings, you are 100% on.

“That’s important after a long season because if you are constantly thinking about Rugby, you’ll burn out. Taking those opportunities and really being in the moment is super important.”

Although Wales are also going through a slump and suffered a shock defeat to Georgia last weekend, Holloway is not underestimating their hosts.

World Cup dress rehearsal

Saturday’s encounter is a dress rehearsal for the teams’ clash at next year’s Rugby World Cup in France – a match which could decide the winners of Pool C at the global showpiece.

“We know Wales lost to Georgia last week so they’ll want to make amends for that,” he added.

“We’re going to need to be ready and I’m looking forward to it and can’t wait to get out there.”

READ MORE: Wallabies: Injury woes continue as six players ruled out of Autumn Nations Series finale against Wales

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