Scarlets hooker Ryan Elias will be roared on by 10 or 11 family members as he tries to guide Wales into the quarter finals with a third successive win. Many other players have big family contingents supporting them and every voice will count in an epic round three battle with Australia.
“The last couple of games have been amazing. We’ve seen videos of Bordeaux and Nice town centres full of Welsh fans gathering to sing the anthem,” said Dragons lock Will Rowlands.
“That’s made for an amazing atmosphere for us. You really feel the support in the stadiums so more of the same in Lyon, please.
“There’s so much at stake for both teams. Australia are a dangerous team to play, but we know a win would be a big step towards playing in the quarter finals.
“They are one of the big rugby nations for a reason but we’re confident that if we play how we want to play, we can get the right result. There has been a lot of stuff to work on from our performances but results-wise we couldn’t have asked for more.”
The role of the Welsh fans isn’t lost on Elias. When ‘Hymns and Arias’ has started rolling around whichever stadium they’ve been playing in, it has provided comfort and motivation.
“The fans will be massive for us. There are 10 or 11 of my family out here as well and they all give us a big boost,” said Elias.
“We’re excited for the challenge, although we know it’s going to be a tough game. They are a physical side, a tough side to break down, but there’s been a great edge in training.”
Four years ago, Aaron Wainwright was one of the heroes in Wales’ 29-25 pool win over the Wallabies in Japan. It was a victory that enabled Wales to top their pool with a 100% record.
A repeat performance in Lyon would allow them to stay on course to repeat that and face the team that finished second in Pool D.
“I’m very excited to be playing the Wallabies again. To get the win against them at the last World Cup was a massive boost for us and helped us to progress in the competition,” said Wainwright, who will form a vitally important back row with skipper Jac Morgan and Taulupe Faletau.
“We want to do the same again in Lyon. We know they are going to be hurting after the defeat to Fiji, but we want to go at them at the set piece because we feel we can get some gains there.”