'We just smash each other': Ross Moriarty happy to follow in family footsteps by beating Australia at World Cup but is determined to win back his starting spot for Wales

Daily Mail

Daily Mail

Author 2019-10-02 02:34:00

Beating Australia at the World Cup runs in the Moriarty family - and Wales' current back-rower Ross loved tearing into the Wallabies to keep the tradition going.

The last time a Welsh side beat the Aussies at the tournament was back in 1987 in the third-place playoff, when Moriarty's father Paul and uncle Richard played.

'It was a great game to be involved in,' said the 25-year-old of Sunday's win.


Flanker Ross Moriarty has come off the bench in both of Wales' World Cup matches so far


Moriarty celebrates after a stunning victory over Wales put his side on course for quarter-finals

'When you win those tight games it makes it a lot more special. Last time we won a World Cup game against Australia was 1987 - that was a special game for me as my dad and my uncle were in the team.

'Dad's very emotional when it comes to me playing rugby, especially for Wales. To be involved for this World Cup, it was a big one.

'My parents came out for the game, and have gone home now, but it was a special day for me.

'They'll be coming back when we get to the final!' 


Moriarty's father Paul (centre) played for Wales during the 1987 World Cup and beat Wallabies


Richard, Moriarty's uncle, was Wales captain and earned 23 international caps in his career

Moriarty started 28 of his 29 Tests from the summer of 2016 up to this World Cup - but was dropped to the bench for the Georgia and Australia matches in Japan.

Aaron Wainwright, the 22-year-old, has been preferred at blindside flanker with Josh Navidi moving to No 8.

And while losing his shirt has upset Moriarty, he has been leading the charge in training.

Alun Wyn Jones revealed there had been blood spilled last week - and Moriarty feels physical sessions primed Wales for their famous victory.

'When we have to smash each other, we just smash each other,' he added.

'It's 100% going into training because we know that's going to be the best way to prepare ourselves for tough games.

'I enjoyed that side of training last week and that obviously showed in the game, so we prepped well and we put it in on the pitch.

'I've started a lot of games in the last few campaigns.

'To be on the bench is obviously disappointing, but I know my role in the team and when I come on the pitch it changes that mindset for me.

'I came on for 32 minutes at the weekend and it felt like I'd played the 80.. For those boys starting it is tough. I've got quite a lot of experience and 36 caps.

'I've started a lot of those games, but coming off the bench I'm aiming to give the boys energy and put my front foot forward.

'It was disappointing not to get the start, but putting that aside the bigger picture is to help the team and make sure we prepare as well as we can and be that opposition in training.'  


Ross Moriarty (L) sings the national anthem alongside Ken Owens (C) and Alun Wyn Jones (R)


Young flanker Aaron Wainwright has been hugely impressive since replacing Moriarty

While Moriarty has been seriously impressed with Wainwright, 22, he is desperate to win his place back as Wales' hit-man. 

'Presence and imposing myself physically on opponents,' he said are his biggest strengths.

'Coming off the pitch, I know I've put 100% into every tackle I've done.

'My intention is never to go out and hurt anyone or do anyone harm but to put that physicality into the game is a big boost for the team.

'Aaron was still playing university a couple of seasons ago. It's unbelievable when you see where he's come from and how far he's come now.

'He's got a lot of time to become a much better player and, with that experience, being around people like Tips - I wouldn't say myself so much but being involved a bit longer I can still help him, help him develop as a player and how he deals with pressure coming into the games.

'He's very good at knowing his roles and you've got to give him that confidence in training.' 

Wales should have a full squad to pick from for their Fiji match in seven days' time, with fly-half Dan Biggar already symptom free after suffering a concussion in the Australia match.


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