We’ve got to be getting better quality ball to our halfbacks, said Pocock (right). Photo: David Moir/EPA

CARDIFF – Beleaguered Australia are hoping a week’s training camp in Japan has fixed persistent problems in their forward play, not least at lineout time, experienced flank David Pocock said yesterday.

Australia start a three-Test tour of Europe with a game against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, looking to continue a dominant run against their hosts and turn around a miserable run of results which has left coach Michael Cheika and his players under severe pressure.

After being beaten 37-20 by world champions New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup in Yokohama last month, the Wallabies stayed in Japan for a training week during which lineout work was a high priority.

David Pocock (left) of Australia in action against Ardie Savea of New Zealand in Yokohama last month. Photo: EPA/Franck Robichon
David Pocock (left) of Australia in action against Ardie Savea of New Zealand in Yokohama last month. Photo: EPA/Franck Robichon

“We’ve got to be getting better quality ball to our halfbacks,” Pocock told reporters. “That’s something we’re working on - we know how important it is and as a forward pack, we had a good chance last week in Odawara to put some work into that and we’ll continue that here.”

The 30-year-old Pocock, who has 75 caps, missed the Wallabies’ last tour to Europe, but warned Wales would be tough to beat, even if Australia have won the last 13 meetings between the sides. 

 Reuters