Adam Beard: Wales lock hopes to revive Test winning streak
|World Cup warm-up: Wales v England|
|Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 17 August Kick-off: 14:15 BST|
|Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC 5 Live Extra & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary|
Wales second-row Adam Beard says he is not a superstitious man but his international winning streak has been halted at 13.
Beard had proved a lucky charm for Warren Gatland’s side over the last two years, having won his first 13 games in a Wales jersey.
The Ospreys lock was closing in on Geoff Wheel’s Welsh record of 15 opening Test victories before the 33-19 defeat at Twickenham last Sunday.
“It was not a nice feeling and hopefully not one I will feel many times again,” said Beard.
“In the back of my head I was not trying to think of the record but it was disappointing losing.
“I would have liked to have broken Geoff Wheel’s record because he is also a second-row from Swansea, but unfortunately it was not meant to be.”
Defeat in the World Cup warm-up also ended Wales’ 14-match winning streak and the chance to become the world ranked number one side officially, but Beard insists morale has not been affected.
“I don’t think it has knocked our confidence,” said the 23-year-old.
“It would have been nice to get the win and be ranked number one in the world.
“This keeps us grounded and the most important thing is when we get on the plane to the World Cup.”
Beard says has learned a valuable lesson in his role as Wales’ lineout caller.
A set-piece mistake saw hooker Ken Owens throw the ball over the head of captain Alun Wyn Jones, resulting in a crucial England try just before half-time which gave the hosts a 21-7 interval lead.
“We had a good percentage in the lineouts and on the whole I was happy, but that one before half-time was probably a poor call from myself,” said Beard.
“I will learn from that. I am still a young man and have not been calling lineouts for a long time. There are still things I can develop as I get more experience.”
Wales face England in the reverse fixture on Saturday in Cardiff, one of four World Cup warm-up matches.
Gatland’s side have suffered two major injury blows, with Gareth Anscombe and Taulupe Faletau both being ruled out of the World Cup with knee and collarbone injuries respectively.
The amount of games in the build-up to the global tournament in Japan has been criticised but Beard has backed the volume of matches.
“You see people saying about four games is too much but you don’t want to go in undercooked,” said Beard.
“It is that balancing act but you have 42 players in the squad and everybody needs that opportunity. So I think four games is the right amount for us.”
“We have two huge players missing the World Cup. It is devastating news for Gareth because is a great player and over the last two years he has grown into a great leader.
“It has been a bit of a downer for the squad but we have to try and move forward now despite knowing we are not going to have them.”
Beard, at 6ft 8in, forms one half of what could be Wales’ tallest top-flight sporting couple, with his girlfriend being Celtic Dragons netball shooter Chelsea Lewis, who stands 6ft 2in.
“It is great for me that she plays top-flight sport as well,” said Beard.
“You understand each other’s needs and the sacrifices we have to make and because we both play sport, it is nice to take our head away from things and know when to have down time.
“When you think too much about things that is when they start going wrong. It is nice being with somebody in that environment and it works well.”