June International Tours

Cockbain set to finally face Wallabies

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Brent Cockbain is eyeing his long-awaited chance to finally play a Test for Wales against the Wallabies in Sydney next week.

Cockbain, a former Reds representative and younger brother of former Wallabies forward Matt Cockbain, has played 23 Tests for Wales, but none of them have been against the Wallabies.

He was ever-present in Wales’ Six Nations Grand Slam-winning campaign in 2005 and has played against all the top-ten ranked countries apart from Australia.

Cockbain, a member of the 2005 British and Irish Lions to New Zealand, has missed Tests against Australia in each of the last two years.

“I’ve been a little bit unlucky because in the Fiji game the week before we were scheduled to play Australia [in 2005] I tore my hamstring off my hip,” Cockbain told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

“Then last year when Australia toured, I had a short suspension, so I missed that Test as well.

“Hopefully I can put that hoodoo to bed next weekend.”

Cockbain said playing Australia in Sydney next Saturday, May 26, would be an added incentive.

“It was never my intention to go to Wales and play over there to qualify, it was pretty much just a holiday and see the world and play a bit if rugby and travel a bit,” he said.

“I played in London for a year first and then moved to Wales and just loved it.

“The people are friendly and a lot of their attitudes are very Australian like about giving a mate a fair go.”

Cockbain said he was under no illusion about how tough it would be for the understrength Welsh to topple Australia in the two-Test series.

“We trained two sessions on Monday, two sessions on Tuesday and flew out Tuesday night,” Cockbain said.

“We’ve had a very limited preparation as far as getting things together… we just have to hope things click for us.”

Wales will be in the same pool as Australia in the World Cup, in France in September.

SAPA-AFP

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