Priestland targets Test win in Australia
May 17, 2012
Rhys Priestland will face competition from James Hook and Dan Biggar to hold onto his starting fly-half spot on Wales' Australia tour © Getty Images
Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland has said that Wales must return from their three-Test tour to Australia in June with at least one victory to their name.
Wales have failed to win in Australia since 1969 and have lost the last three times the sides have met, including in the 2011 Rugby World Cup bronze medal match and a one-off Test in Cardiff in December.
However, Priestland is confident the reigning Six Nations champions can record their first win over a southern hemisphere side since their 21-18 victory over Australia in 2008.
"There is added pressure now because every time we go on the field, people expect us to win," Priestland told BBC Sport. "The nation wants a southern hemisphere scalp as well and, hopefully, we can get one before the autumn. As a squad we want a southern hemisphere scalp. We know what to expect because they have world class players and some of the most skilful players in world rugby."
The Scarlets' fly-half will face stiff competition to hold onto the 10 jersey from James Hook and Dan Biggar, who has returned to form with the Ospreys this season.
Caretaker coach Rob Howley has named four new faces in a 38-man squad, though centre Jamie Roberts and hooker Huw Bennett are absent through injury.
Australia are expected to be at full strength. Fly-half Quade Cooper is set to start his first match for the Reds this weekend after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament against Wales in the World Cup, while utility back James O'Connor is reported to be making good progress following a rib injury.
"Any time you play against them, you have to be at your best otherwise they will cut you to piece," Priestland said. "We have an opportunity going down there, it will be tough. They have a few injuries and we have a few injuries so it's a good time to play them. You have to be at your best and hopefully we prepare well and give ourselves the best possible chance to get a southern hemisphere scalp."
Wales take on the reigning Tri-Nations champions on June 9, 16 and 23, with a midweek fixture against the Brumbies on Tuesday, June 12.
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