Wales: Josh Macleod opens up on ‘very honest’ team debrief from Georgia loss but is positive ahead of Wallabies clash

Adam Kyriacou
Wales number eight Josh Macleod

Wales number eight Josh Macleod revealed the team had some “very honest” conversations following their shock loss to Georgia last weekend.

The back-row was speaking ahead of their hugely important Autumn Nations Series finale against Australia as they look to bounce back in a crucial game.

Victory would be a massive shot in the arm for Wales after what has been a disappointing year that included another defeat at home, against Italy in March.

Made his debut against Georgia

Macleod, who made his Test bow last week, is hopeful of featuring again on Saturday against Australia but it is likely Taulupe Faletau will be at number eight.

Indeed, changes are expected to be made by an under pressure Wales head coach Wayne Pivac, with Macleod saying the Georgia debrief was a tough meeting.

“They (conversations) were very honest,” he said.

“It was a good day and we got a lot out of it. I think we have wiped that slate clean and now we are really pushing hard for Australia.

“As a squad, we were massively frustrated and disappointed with the result as a whole, but as Toby (Faletau) mentioned after the game, we are going to stick as one – management, players and staff.

“We’ve put Georgia to bed and all the disappointment with that, and we will move forward to this week with a positive attitude.

“Naturally, everyone says there will be a reaction after a defeat like that. Come Saturday, I am sure whoever takes the field will be ready.”

Injuries had delayed Macleod’s first Wales cap and he admits he’s had his “fair share of back luck” on that front but is pleased to be back on the rugby field.

“It has been a tough time since the last call-up. I was just glad to get that monkey off my back,” Macleod added.

“I changed my routine a bit – more recovery, a bit less weights – and I try to be out on the training park as much as I can because I find that builds a little bit of resilience to all these niggles and stuff.

Had his fair share of bad luck

“I have never struggled physically with getting myself back in shape from an injury and from a rehab perspective.

“I’ve had my fair share of bad luck in the past with injuries, but it has always been a one-off, then rehab and then you are back on the pitch.

“But those hits virtually together make you feel a little bit separated from the boys because you are constantly rehabbing and you are never on the training pitch.

“Mentally, that was the hardest part for me, but thankfully we are over that now.”

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