Wales centre Hadleigh Parkes is relishing the opportunity of getting stuck into the Wallabies in this Saturday’s Test at the Principality Stadium.
Despite having been born in New Zealand the Scarlets centre admits he has a huge amount of respect for Australian sport, especially their cricket side. Michael Cheika’s side may have lost seven of their last 10 Test matches but Parkes is expecting a stern examination.
“I grew up fascinated by the Aussie cricket side and the amazing era they had,” said Parkes.
“You had to love Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. I loved the whole team; Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, and all their great batsman.
“Adam Gilchrist was special, as was their rugby team at that time with John Eales, George Gregan and Stephen Larkham. We want to get a win against a pretty big enemy of Welsh rugby this weekend.
“They’re competitors aren’t they, the Australians. There was their rugby team as well at that time with John Eales, George Gregan and Stephen Larkham.
“They are a very good, skilful team, one who are getting better and better at the moment with each match. It’s going to be a tough Test for us on Saturday.”
Warren Gatland’s side have lost their last 13 encounters against the Wallabies with many of those being decided in the last couple of minutes. But 31-year-old Parkes is confident they have enough to get the job done this time around.
“We want to get a win against a pretty big enemy of Welsh rugby this weekend,” he said.
“Before the last few years it had been a pretty long time since Wales had beaten South Africa.
“Now we’re on a pretty good run against them. It’s just a Test match and if we can control what we can control and play the way we’ve wanted to, in the last couple of years, then there’s no reason we can’t go out there, put in a good performance, and get the right result.”