British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton insists Wales cannot be thought of as contenders for the 2015 World Cup unless their up their game against the big three nations.
Since 1987 Wales have only won a combined three games against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, with their solitary victory during coach Warren Gatland’s rein coming against the Wallabies in 2011.
The Kiwis reaffirmed their stature in world rugby with a dominant 51-20 win over Australia in the Rugby Championship on Saturday while the Springboks squeaked past Argentina 33-31.
And Warburton, who captained the Lions in the first two Tests of the successful tour to Australia in 2013, admits recent Wales performances have not been up to scratch.
“To be brutally honest, we haven’t been quite good enough,” Warburton told Wales Online.
“Wales can’t consider themselves contenders for the World Cup unless they beat one of the southern hemisphere sides.
“We are the only home nation not to have managed it in recent years. That is something we have to rectify. We need to get that monkey off our backs.
“We’ve been close, very close four or five times against Australia. But close is not good enough. You can’t claim you are unlucky five times.”