Wales may have four British & Irish Lion back-rowers in their World Cup squad but flanker Justin Tipuric admits he is wary of the threat posed by their Australian counterparts.
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Tipuric, fellow flankers Sam Warburton and Dan Lydiate, as well as No.8 Taulupe Faletau were all part of the squad that toured Australia back in 2013 in addition to being involved at this World Cup.
They know what is required to beat the Wallabies – having helped the Lions to a 2-1 series victory two years ago – and that knowledge could prove invaluable as Wales face them in a decisive clash next Saturday.
Both sides have already qualified for the quarter-finals but the winner at Twickenham will top Pool A.
Australia head into that game after an incredibly impressive 33-13 win over England with openside flanker Michael Hooper and No.8 David Pocock dominant at the breakdown.
But while Hooper and Pocock continue to take the plaudits, Tipuric says blindside flanker Scott Fardy completes a particularly fearsome trio.
“It's a pretty special back row,” Tipuric said. “Their No.6 [Fardy] doesn't get enough credit. He does a lot of the donkey work.
“Whoever plays in the back-row for them, they have strength in depth no matter what.
“The breakdown is a strength for them, and we need to make sure we look after that ball. You are up against the best with Australia, and it's going to be a good test.
“Australia looked in control against England the whole time. They played to their strengths and their set-piece was on fire.
“I didn't expect that much of a margin, but we all know Australia's strengths.
“It showed in the game how good they were in the breakdown. I didn't expect their set-piece to be that good, especially the scrum.
“They were dominant. England are known for their set-piece, but Australia played really well.”
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