Wales wary of Phipps threat

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 16:29

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Wallabies may have lost the Will Genia tug-o'-war, but they have an equally dangerous scrumhalf in Nick Phipps.

This is the view of Wales scrumhalf Rhys Webb, who punted Nick Phipps as the threat at No.9 when they face Australia on Saturday.

The Wallabies will be without their star scrumhalf, Genia, for their year-end tour opener, after he was denied a release from French club Stade Francais.

Australia had hoped to have the in-form playmaker - one of the stars of the Rugby Championship this year - available for the showdown in Cardiff.

Stade Francais are under no obligation to release Genia outside the official international window and coach Michael Cheika was unable to convince the French powerhouse to do so.

Genia will next rejoin the squad ahead of their clash with Scotland in Edinburgh, and will be available for the subsequent fixtures against Ireland and France, but may again be recalled by Stade Francais before their season-ending Test against England.

However, the Ospreys and Wales No.9, Webb, said the Aussies have quality in their squad to cover Genia's non-appearance.

"I've heard that Will Genia is out, which is a massive loss for Australia," Webb told the Cardiff-based Western Telegraph.

"He's a world-class No.9, but they have got experience with Nick Phipps coming in, who will probably start. He's a top player as well.

"They've had their injuries, but they have got a lot of talent across the board.

 "They had a tremendous Rugby Championship. If you take New Zealand out of the equation, they pretty much won the championship.

"We know how dangerous they are. Some of the individuals they've got in their team can create stuff from wherever on the field."

Sources: westerntelegraph.co.uk & rugby.com.au