Sir Clive Woodward has described Wales as being ‘blinded by their urgent need to beat England’ and urged them to end a barren run in Tests against Saturday’s opponents Australia.
Wales have been defeated by the Wallabies in all of their 13 previous meetings ahead of kick-off at the Principality Stadium, a lacklustre record Woodward said is ‘one of the most baffling records in rugby’.
Writing in the Daily Mail, the former England head coach implored Warren Gatland’s team and the nation to get one over on the Aussies, as has been the case with their Northern Hemisphere counterparts Ireland and Scotland in recent years.
“There is absolutely no logical reason why Wales — who have fielded some cracking sides over the last 10 years and again have a team that can contemplate winning the World Cup — should have such a poor record against the Aussies,” Woodward wrote.
“During that time England, Scotland and Ireland have beaten them with some regularity and France have a couple of wins under their belt, too.
“Wasn’t it Warren Gatland who coached the Lions to an excellent win in 2013 with a squad packed with talented Welshmen?
“For too much time Wales have been blinded by their urgent need to beat England in particular and to win the Six Nations in general.
“Each are worthy, but ultimately limiting aims.
“To beat Australia today is infinitely more important than beating England at the Principality Stadium on February 23.
“Let’s hear the crowd roaring as if they were taking on England in a Grand Slam decider.”
Last year’s encounter in Cardiff finished 29-21 to Australia, who outscored the hosts by four tries to two.
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