Wales can deal with pressure, insists Rhys Priestland

Wales' Rhys Priestland insists the Six Nations holders will cope with increased expectations ahead of the Australia tour

wales six nations squad
Rhys Priestland started all five of Wales' Six Nations games Photo: WRU

wales six nations squad

Rhys Priestland insists Wales can cope with the added expectancy that comes with being Grand Slam champions and he intends to prove they are a different animal in the summer tour to Australia.

The 25-year-old, who started all five Six Nations games, faces fresh competition for the No10 jersey from Perpignan’s James Hook and Ospreys’ Dan Biggar but believes the competition for places proves Wales can mix it with the big boys.

Warren Gatland’s side haven’t won a Test in Australia in 43 years but the Scarlets playmaker is plotting to put an end to that barren run in the three-match series Down Under in June.

The most recent success against the Wallabies came in November 2008, but with Wales now riding the crest of a wave Priestland admits it’s now or never.

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

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

“As a squad we want a southern hemisphere scalp. We know what to expect because they have world class players and some of the most skilful players in world rugby.

“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.”

© Sportsbeat 2012

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