Wales told to make amends against Australia after they ‘let down’ fans

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac (PA Wire)
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac (PA Wire)

Wayne Pivac says that Wales want to give “something back to the public” in Saturday’s Autumn Nations Series finale against Australia.

For the third time in four weekends, Wales are set to be watched by a Principality Stadium crowd of more than 60,000.

But it has been a campaign of wildly-fluctuating fortunes, with victory over Argentina being accompanied by conceding 55 points against New Zealand and then losing in humiliating fashion to Georgia.

The Georgia result has put Pivac’s future as Wales head coach under intense scrutiny, with his three-year reign having delivered just 13 wins from 33 starts.

Whether or not he continues through to this season’s Guinness Six Nations Championship and the 2023 World Cup is a topic of considerable debate.

If Welsh Rugby Union chiefs decide that Pivac’s time is up, they must also find a suitable replacement – and quickly – with Wales’ Six Nations opener against world number one team Ireland just 10 weeks away.

Pivac heads to France on Sunday for a World Cup reconnaissance mission, which will be followed by a review of the autumn series. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

“We understand as coaches you don’t win all the time and there are going to be occasions when there are upsets, or what you perceived to be an upset,” Pivac said.

“And we certainly have been across a couple of those. That isn’t satisfying, let’s just say that.

“As one of the leaders within the group it is really important that I stay focused, which allows everybody else to follow suit.

“This week was a classic week of backs to the wall. We want to rectify last week’s performance.

“The guys are really determined to finish off on a good note to give something back to the public who they feel, and we feel collectively as a group, that we let down last week, obviously.

“It is going to be two desperate teams coming together, but unfortunately there has to be a winner and a loser. We’ve got to make sure we do everything in our power to come out the right side.

“Consistency is a word that has been used in camp and we want to be more consistent, definitely.

“We thought that we bounced back well against Argentina and then let our guard down and we didn’t get across the line.”

Wales have experience on their side against the injury-hit Wallabies, with a combined total of 860 caps, compared to Australia’s 415.

Six Wales players, meanwhile, have 626 caps between them, while number eight Taulupe Faletau makes his 100th Test match appearance for Wales and the British and Irish Lions.

Wales captain Justin Tipuric said: “There are many sleepless nights, we don’t go out there to play badly, and it (display against Georgia) was one of those performances that you are never going to forget in your life, unfortunately.

“It has been in the last year about the consistency to be contenders for the World Cup.

“You have to have that consistency to be up there with the best teams in the world and unfortunately we haven’t nailed that at the moment.

“You never take it for granted when you have the opportunity to play for Wales.

“You are one of those kids watching when you were younger, you want Wales to do well and you are now part of that.”