16 May 2012

Welsh rugby stars to arrive early

6:43 am on 16 May 2012

Wales will field a 'B' team against the Barbarians in an attempt to beat the Wallabies in Australia for the first time since 1969.

Although the Six Nations champions meet the Barbarians at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on June the 2nd, local time, their probable Test starting team will already be in Brisbane.

A group of 15 players will set off for Australia two days before the Barbarians game, with the 19 remaining squad members joining them on June the 4th, Australian time, ahead of the first Test at Suncorp Stadium on June 9th.

Rob Howley will be in caretaker charge of the squad while coach Warren Gatland continues to recover at home in New Zealand after fracturing both his heels following a fall at his holiday residence last month.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans expects the Welsh to see this tour as the chance to take the next step after winning the Six Nations so impressively, and he says they're a significant threat.

Wales play Australia in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.