Wales v Japan: Rob McCusker feels pressure to perform

Rob McCusker


Hanazono Stadium, Osaka & Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground, Tokyo
Saturdays 8 & 15 June, 2013
06:00 BST
Coverage - First Test:
(Osaka) - Live on BBC One Wales, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & online
Coverage - Second Test:
(Tokyo) - Live on S4C, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Wales & BBC online

Back-row Rob McCusker says Wales' tourists to Japan are under pressure to maintain the standards set by the Six Nations-winning side.

Wales will face Japan in two Tests without 15 frontline players selected for the British and Irish Lions tour.

"Wales have not conceded a try in four-and-a-half games. We're not in any rush to let that slip," said McCusker, 27.

"It's our careers at stake here with potential [future] Welsh spots up for grabs so we're going for it."

Japan prepared for the visit of Wales with a 27-17 defeat by Tonga in Yokohama in their first 2013 Pacific Nations Cup match last Saturday.

The Cherry Blossoms travel to Fiji on Saturday before the games against Wales in Osaka (8 June) and Tokyo (15 June).

Despite Japan's loss to Tonga, Scarlets forward McCusker says he and his team-mates are wary of the threat posed by

He added: "We're wary across the board, but we're not setting ourselves up for a fall at all.

"Intrinsically we're expecting two wins and two good performances.

"There's a lot of pressure on us from the coaching squad and what we've put on ourselves as players to carry on the mantle from a championship-winning Six Nations."

Wales have turned up the heat for indoor training sessions ahead of the tour in a bid to acclimatise for the hot and humid conditions expected in Japan.

"It's pretty uncomfortable, but we've got to realise that it's probably only half as hot as it's going to be in Japan," said McCusker.

"Plus you can't really replicate the humidity in there. I've played in Hong Kong in the Sevens and that's a pretty similar climate.

"It definitely takes your breath away and I just think we have to bite the bullet when we get there."

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