AAP Rugby

Refreshed Wallabies ready to rock in Wales

By AAP Newswire

Australia skipper Michael Hooper says the side's week-long camp in Japan has been the perfect tonic ahead of Sunday's (0420 AEDT) crucial clash against Wales in Cardiff.

The Wallabies are unbeaten against Wales in 10 years but have endured a tough year, losing six of their nine matches in 2018 and defeat against Warren Gatland's side will heap more pressure on under-fire coach Michael Cheika.

The tourists go into the game on the back of a demoralising 37-20 defeat to the All Blacks in Tokyo - a match where the line-out struggled terribly.

However, Hooper said staying at what will be the team's World Cup base in Odawara last week ahead of moving to the plush Celtic Manor resort in Newport just outside Cardiff has helped pre-match preparations.

"It's been a different month for us," Hooper said.

"We came off that Argentina game, had two weekends off played the match in Tokyo.

"We then had another weekend off then came over here. So we haven't played a huge amount of rugby and within those weeks we've been able to do some conditioning and working on our consistency.

"I think we have been managed really well and can have no excuses tomorrow.

"It has been an inconsistent year for us, so we have got to change that around."

Hooper and David Pocock will be joined in the back-row by Jack Dempsey who has been named in the starting line-up ahead of Ned Hanigan.

"In his game against New Zealand last week he had a good game in attack," Hooper said.

"He is a really explosive player and he is hungry to make a difference.

"Intent is such a massive thing at this level and he's got that in spades and I am looking forward to playing with him.

"We love playing in this stadium, we have a really good rivalry with Wales and it's always tough fixture."