world : Wales aim to end 55 years of hurt in Australia

world : Wales aim to end 55 years of hurt in Australia
world : Wales aim to end 55 years of hurt in Australia

Monday 1 July 2024 06:30 AM

Nafeza 2 world - Wales arrived in Australia in 2012 as Grand Slam champions after winning the Six Nations title in March of that year.

A month later Gatland suffered a freak accident at his beach house in New Zealand when he fell off a ladder cleaning his windows, requiring surgery after breaking both heels.

It was an injury that forced him to hand over the reins to assistant Rob Howley to initially take charge of Wales' three-Test tour.

Gatland joined the squad for the final two games, a year before he would lead the British and Irish Lions to series success in Australia.

Wales lost the series 3-0 but they were all close encounters, with only 11 points separating the two sides in the three Tests.

In the last two internationals, Wales led late on before Australia snatched victory on both occasions, with Mike Harris and Berrick Barnes slotting over late kicks in successive matches.

Wales players do have recent experience of success in Australia and against the Wallabies.

Gatland's side eventually ended a run of 13 consecutive defeats against Australia in November 2018 by winning 9-6 in Cardiff.

Wales have since defeated Australia in the last two World Cups, including the record 40-6 victory in Lyon in October 2023.

The national side have also won World Cup matches in Australia against other opposition in 1987 and 2003.

Wales also beat the Wallabies in a World Cup third place play-off match 37 years ago but that took place in the New Zealand city of Rotorua.

And there were 10 Welsh starters when the Lions defeated Australia in the series decider in Sydney in 2013.

It is just that Welsh victory against a team playing in green and gold on Australian soil that has remained elusive since 1969.

Gatland and Wales fans will be hoping that changes in the next couple of weeks.

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