Coleman returns to Britain a leader of the pack

This time last year, Adam Coleman arrived in Britain with just seven Test caps and a degree of anonymity.

His performance in Cardiff against Wales last November was nothing short of superb as the Wallabies cruised to a 32-8 victory to get their spring tour off to the perfect start.

Coleman, the then 25-year-old, made 14 carries - the most of any forward from both teams - for 27 metres to go with 14 tackles in an eye-catching display that truly announced his arrival onto the Test scene.

"It was my first time on the spring tour and experiencing Millennium Stadium, the crowd and the atmosphere was a great occasion," Coleman recalled. "Fortunately enough we came away with a win."

This time around, Wales will have done their homework on the second-rower who has now established himself as one of the leaders of Australia's pack.

"I've more responsibility with the set-piece and I'm really enjoying that and I've got some great players around me to learn off and feed off," Coleman said.

"The Welsh are a class outfit. They've got threats from one to 15 and they can attack you anywhere. They're a very physical side, very physical forward pack. We know they're going to try and take us up front in the set-piece area and we'll be up for it."

While Wales won't have British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton playing on Saturday (Sunday AEDT), they will have a number of fellow Lions players who were part of the tour to New Zealand this year.

The Wallabies boast a stronger side on paper and have won their past 12 matches against Wales but Coleman agreed there was the possibility returning Lions players could bolster the team after they came away from New Zealand with an unexpected 1-1 series draw.

"Definitely I feel like it will have a knock-on effect and I'm sure Wales will be red-hot this weekend," Coleman said. "I'm not sure of the number of Welsh players in the Lions [squad] but the more time you play with your teammates, the better the combinations are going to be week in, week out."

Coleman's price tag has soared since he made his Test debut last year against England in Sydney off the bench.

Rugby Australia (formerly the Australian Rugby Union) are desperate to keep him in Australia after his Super Rugby team, the Western Force, were cut from the premier southern hemisphere competition.

Coleman has swatted away questions about his future all year but this time when asked if he was going to follow Wallaby Dane Haylett-Petty and brother Ross to the Melbourne Rebels, he at least hinted a final call was on the horizon.

"It was good to see Dane and his brother sticking together going down to Melbourne," Coleman said. "Mine's almost ??? my decision is almost made I think.

"For me, I just want to really focus on this spring tour and I'm really looking forward to playing on the weekend."

Fellow Force player Matt Philip made his Test debut off the bench against Japan in Yokohama having not been involved in any Wallabies squads this year.

Coleman has taken delight in watching another second-rower based in the west rise through the ranks.

"He's a great guy, good to have around camp," Coleman said. "I was very happy for him and his family. I know it was a massive moment for him and there will be many more to come.

"Matt gives everything. He gives it 100 per cent whether it's at training or on the field and that's one of his great qualities as a player and as a person. He's all in and he'll give everything he can to the jersey that he's going to play for on the weekend."

This story Coleman returns to Britain a leader of the pack first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.