Flanker clash excites McBryde

Warburton and Pockock go head-to-head in Cardiff

Last Updated: 28/11/11 5:25pm

  • Share:
Sam Warburton: missed World Cup clash through suspension

Sam Warburton: missed World Cup clash through suspension

Sky Bet

Wales forwards specialist Robin McBryde has billed a mouthwatering Millennium Stadium battle between Sam Warburton and David Pocock as one that "everyone is waiting for".

The rival openside flankers and breakdown specialists will go head to head when Wales tackle Australia next Saturday in a quickfire rematch following last month's World Cup bronze medal clash.

Australia triumphed by three points on that occasion, but Wales skipper Warburton missed out due to suspension after he was sent off against semi-final opponents France six days earlier.

Warburton, though, is now back and ready to lead Wales in their final fixture of 2011 and last game before launching what should be a concerted RBS Six Nations title bid next February.

"Unfortunately, we didn't get to see that head-to-head back in October," McBryde said.

"It's one to watch, one that everyone is waiting for, really."


"It's one to watch, one that everyone is waiting for, really."
Robin McBryde Quotes of the week

Pocock warmed up for his latest challenge by playing a starring role during Australia's 60-11 romp against an outclassed Barbarians outfit at Twickenham two days ago.

And McBryde added: "He showed again in that game how potent he is at the breakdown area.

"He is never far away, and similarly with Sam. Sam made quite a name for himself at the World Cup, so I dare say he will be a marked man as well on Saturday.

"It will be a good battle between the two of them."

Wales coach Warren Gatland will name his starting line-up to face the Wallabies on Tuesday, with a minimum of three changes guaranteed from when the countries last met in Auckland 38 days ago.

Prop Paul James is injured, while half-backs James Hook and Mike Phillips are unavailable due to commitments with their respective French clubs Perpignan and Bayonne.

Prop Adam Jones and lock Alun-Wyn Jones also miss out because of injury, while the likes of centre Jamie Roberts, lock Luke Charteris and flanker Dan Lydiate are key players Gatland hopes can be declared fully fit.

Cardiff Blues prospect Lloyd Williams looks set to replace Phillips, with Rhys Priestland returning at fly-half, while Gatland could switch Gethin Jenkins from loosehead to tighthead prop, or possibly hand Ryan Bevington a start.

One name guaranteed to be on the team sheet, though, is that of diminutive wing Shane Williams, who makes his farewell Test match appearance in five days' time.

It will be 34-year-old Williams' 87th and final Wales game during an international career that has seen him score a record 57 tries for his country.

"I can't speak highly enough of Shane and his contribution," McBryde said.

"In many people's eyes he epitomises the bigger picture of Wales against all the other big nations, being the size he is and the never-say-die attitude that he possesses.

"The way he dances around bigger opponents, who are a bit leaden-footed around him, and some of the tries he has scored, only Shane can do things like that.

"Hopefully, we will give him a fitting sending-off.

"That's not just coming from the coaches, it is from the players as well. They will want to show their appreciation and allow the crowd to do the same."

  • Share:


Related Profiles

Most Popular


Robinson plans Blackburn exit

Robinson plans Blackburn exit

Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson has told Sky Sports he will leave the club this summer and could move abroad.

Supplement podcast

Supplement podcast

A Wembley special as the panel debate referees, Qatar 2022, Arsene Wenger's future and more...

Soccer AM Futsal Cup returns

Soccer AM Futsal Cup returns

The Soccer AM Futsal Cup returns for a second season with the action screened on Saturday mornings throughout March and May.