Wales begin this month’s autumn international campaign with an unwanted record that they will want to get rid of.
If Australia win this Saturday at the Principality Stadium, their unbeaten streak against the Welsh will stretch to a decade by the time the Rugby World Cup comes about next year, where the two sides will meet in the pool stage.
It’s something that has haunted Warren Gatland’s side whenever the autumn internationals arise, yet this time around there is genuine optimism that Wales have the game plan to thrive against the Wallabies.
Gatland’s squad selection for the Tests against Australia, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa suggests a change in tactics to play two play-making fly-halves at 10 and 12 in order to unleash the wealth of attacking options outside them.
But another hoping to prove his worth to Gatland as an out-and-out attacker is the full-back Leigh Halfpenny. This might raise a few eyebrows, given the metronomic goal-machine is more known for his kicking from the tee and his last-line defence rather than his ability to unlock defences in a split-second.
The 28-year-old is third on the all-time scoring list for his country behind Neil Jenkins and Stephen Jones, with the trio all good enough to taking on kicking duties for just about any side in the world. But running rugby and scoring tries has never really been a key part of his game, and he knows that if he is to prevent Williams from permanently ousting him from the 15 shirt, he needs to up his game – starting this month.
Liam Williams was electric for the Lions in New Zealand (Getty)
“For me, something that I’ve come into this season looking at personally is to bring that attacking game into my own game, and I’m really looking to make gains and improvements in…