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Australia use S&C to prepare for Wales clash

By Rich Jones

Australia utilised Cardiff University’s new Strength and Conditioning Centre as they prepare for Saturday’s showdown with Wales at the Principality Stadium.

The Wallabies took to the new facility on Senghennydd Road on Monday and Wednesday after touching down in the UK at the weekend.

Michael Cheika’s side enjoyed a light recovery session as they get set for the opening game of their four-match tour.

They have already experienced a hectic schedule and jetted straight to the UK from Yokohama, where they comfortably beat Japan last Saturday.

Second row Adam Coleman has thanked Cardiff University for assisting their preparations to ensure they are ready for battle on Saturday evening.

“It’s a great facility,” Coleman said.

“The boys had the tunes bumping, we were lifting some weights and it was a good recovery session.

“We’ve had a lot of travelling recently, but it’s something the staff have put things in place to deal with.

“We’ve got a sleep programme to make sure we get the best recovery we can, but we take it in our stride.

“A lot of teams are travelling around at the moment, so we’re not here to make that an excuse. The boys will be fresh and ready to go on Saturday.

“For me, it’s always about the process in international rugby.

“I think if you’re too worried about the outcome you can lose sight of the minor details in your preparation during the week, so I try and break things down with the processes. Hopefully on the weekend we get the outcome.

“Our thanks go to the University for letting us use their gym, and hopefully it will help contribute to us getting a win on Saturday.”

The Wallabies have a fine record against Wales in recent years with a 12-game winning streak dating all the way back to 2008.

An attacking masterclass in the fixture last year saw them run out as comfortable 32-8 victors at the Principality Stadium.

Factor in a stunning 23-18 win over the All Blacks in a thriller in Brisbane last month, and few are giving Wales a prayer on Saturday.

Coleman insists their previous record means nothing as they prepare for a physical, bruising encounter, which has become the norm in the Welsh capital.

“For us, we try and treat every game as the same game,” he said.

“We try and prepare exactly the same every week and keep up the same intensity.

“I think the more we have that consistent intensity at training, the more it’s going to transfer onto the field.

“It’s very important for us not to get carried away. Yes, we did get the win (against New Zealand), but we’ve still got a lot of work to do and we need to be playing consistent footy, week in week out.

“The Welsh are a class outfit. They’ve got threats from 1-15 and they can attack you anywhere.

“They’re a very physical side with a very physical forward pack, and we know they’re going to try and take us up front in the set piece area so we’ll be up for it.

“I think they’re going to come with a high-line defence, so we’ll have to make sure we’re on top of our attack to mitigate that.

“You just can’t shy away from it, you’ve got to be hard and direct then play footie from there.

“I’m sure Wales will be red-hot this weekend. We know they’re going to be physical but they’re playing another playmaker in the centres so they’ll throw the ball around too.

“We’ve got to expect everything, prepare for everything and then see how we go on the weekend.”

An unorthodox joint training sessions between forward packs from England and Wales made headlines last week.

Yet Coleman says they are working hard to refine their own tactics to challenge Warren Gatland’s side at the set piece.

He stated: “Everyone talks about the Northern Hemisphere teams, their set piece and how it’s in their DNA.

“We haven’t thought too much about them (England and Wales) getting together. They’re probably trying to get that physical edge at the set piece and try to get their own combinations right.

“We’ve been putting in a lot of work with our set piece to prepare.”

Coleman has quickly established himself as one of the top second rows in World Rugby after bursting onto the international scene.

He will now prepare for a huge test as he faces of with Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones in the pack on Saturday – but he says those individual battles are exactly what he relishes about playing at the highest level.

The 26-year-old added: “I don’t think he played last year, but I watched him in the Lions’ series and he played very well so I’m sure he’ll shore up the forward pack for Wales.

“That’s one of the things you enjoy most, is that you get to play against the best player in your position in any given country.

“That’s something every weekend, when you run into the paddock, you walk off the field thinking it was a good experience.”

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