Pressure on for Australia scalp, says Wales fly-half Priestland

Rhys Priestland
Rhys Priestland, Wales fly-half

Fly-half Rhys Priestland says Wales will take on Australia in the summer under increasing pressure to take a southern hemisphere scalp.

Priestland, 25, faces fresh competition from Ospreys rival Dan Biggar for the Wales number 10 jersey.

The 2012 Grand Slam-winner also faces Perpignan play-maker James Hook's continued challenge.

"There is added pressure now because every time we go on the field, people expect us to win," said Priestland.

"The nation wants a southern hemisphere scalp as well and, hopefully, we can get one before the autumn."

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Wales' last win over one of the major southern hemisphere powers came in November 2008 when they beat the Wallabies 21-18 in Cardiff.

Warren Gatland's side have since lost three times to the Wallabies and face them four more times this year.

Robbie Deans' team beat Wales to 2011 Rugby World Cup bronze and followed up with a win in Cardiff in December's one-off Test.

They take on the Wallabies three times in June and host them again in November.

The Wallabies go into the games on 9, 16 and 23 June as reigning Tri-Nations champions.

Scarlets fly-half Priestland says Wales' Six Nations clean sweep has led to optimism among fans that is reflected in the squad's ambitions.

"As a squad we want a southern hemisphere scalp," said Priestland.

"We know what to expect because they have world class players and some of the most skilful players in world rugby," said Priestland.

"Any time you play against them, you have to be at your best otherwise they will cut you to pieces.

"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 haven't won a Test in Australia since 1969 and will play four games on tour, including a match against Super 15 outfit ACT Brumbies on Tuesday, 12 June.

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