Lions tour in Cummins' mind

Australia wing Nick Cummins openly admits that next summer's British and Irish Lions tour Down Under is on his mind.

Rugby News: Nick Cummins

But the Western Force speedster insists he has relegated it to the back of his thought processes behind two other important matters - beating Wales and then taking a holiday.

Cummins believes they are both important factors as Australia look to enter Lions year in prime mental and physical shape.

"We have a few new blokes in the team, and we have had a lot of injuries this year," he said. "If everyone is fit, we will have a good stock to pick from against the Lions.

"That tour is at the back of your mind, but there are two things we need to do first.

"We need to finish this tour on a good note, giving us something to build on when we get back, and then have a well-earned break to freshen the mind so you have the eye of the tiger when you come back, a burning desire to get into them."

Australia have bounced back solidly from a 33-6 drubbing against France in Paris 18 days ago, beating England and Italy to set themselves up for a possible eighth successive victory over Wales.

The Wallabies have had an Indian sign on Wales during Warren Gatland's reign as coach of the current RBS 6 Nations champions, winning seven times from eight meetings.

Wales, though, are battling to avoid an autumn Test series whitewash following defeats against Argentina, Samoa and New Zealand, which is a driving factor not lost on Cummins or his colleagues.

"I reckon Wales will be hungrier than ever," added the 25-year-old.

"We are going to have to be on the ball because they will want to finish strongly. Although we are at the end of our tour, we cannot afford to slack off. It will be whoever fronts up on the day.

"There was not much in it in the series earlier this year (Australia won it 3-0 by a combined margin of 11 points), and we know only our best will do.

"Wales are more like a southern hemisphere team than any of the other European sides in the way they look to move the ball and throw it around.

"Our defence was a big point for us against England, and it will be another big one for us on Saturday. We have to be urgent and catch them behind the gain-line.

"Everyone has their own style and strengths. New Zealand are great in their way, but Wales can also do some incredible things. We cannot let our guard down."

Cummins, although he has won just five caps, showcased his quality with an outstanding performance against England, scoring an impressive first-half try as the Wallabies moved towards a 20-14 triumph.

"I have been lucky enough to get a gig this year and keep my place. The tour has gone well for me," he said.

"If I am selected this week, I will give it a good crack and aim to leave a positive reputation. It has been a big year for me, and I can't wait for Saturday."

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is due to name his starting line-up tomorrow afternoon, but he has lost a second lock from his plans.

Rob Simmons is already sidelined due to suspension - he had an eight-week ban reduced to five on appeal last night - but his second-row colleague Sitaleki Timani is now also out of the Wales clash.

Timani caught Italian prop Andrea Lo Cicero with his forearm during a first-half scuffle in the Wallabies' 22-19 win last Saturday. He connected with hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini with the same blow.

He was subsequently cited and appeared at a disciplinary hearing in Bristol today. He admitted the charge and was banned for one week.

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