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IRB rankings not on our mind: Wales
Luke Phillips
06:17 AEST Wed Nov 28 2012

Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde insists a top-eight seeding in International Rugby Board (IRB) rankings is not on the players' minds ahead of the Test match against Australia.

Having slumped to losses to Argentina (26-12), Samoa (26-19) and New Zealand (33-10), Wales must avoid defeat against the Wallabies at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday (Sunday AEDT) if they are to avoid a nightmare pool draw at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

A defeat would see Wales slip into the third band of seeds for Monday's World Cup draw, but a win or a draw would see them retain their place in the second band of seeds.

"Personally no, not at all," McBryde said when asked if the rankings issue was at the forefront of his thoughts going into the match.

"It's going to be tough. There are no easy matches anymore in world rugby. Whichever group we end up in for the next World Cup is going to be a tough one."

Wales last defeated Australia, by three points, in 2008, but have since lost all seven matches between the two sides, including the third-place play-off at the 2011 World Cup and the summer's three-Test series.

Previously, Wales beat the Wallabies in an autumn international in 2005 and drew a year later in the similar fixture.

McBryde said Wales would have to go into the match where they left off in the All Blacks game, where they rallied from 33-0 down to score two tries in a much more evenly contested second-half, albeit with the game won for New Zealand.

"We need to start in that same vein of form and not make those silly errors that frustrated us in the first-half," the former Llanelli and Wales hooker said, pinpointing openside flanker David Pocock as a key player.

"He's a huge player for them, a talisman," he said of Pocock, who is slowly returning from injury.

"To have him back in the team is going to raise you again. He's akin to Richie McCaw, the influence he has on the All Blacks with regards his leadership.

"He's going to play a vital role for Australia on the weekend. It's another test for us, a test for the backrow to deal with that, but there's no reason we can't start where we left off."


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