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What are the teams for Wales v Australia

What are the teams for Wales v Australia

What are the teams for Wales v Australia

Wales will want to bounce back from their first-ever defeat against Georgia when they take on Australia in Round 4 of the Autumn Nations Series. 

Luka Matkava’s decisive penalty in the 77th minute saw Wayne Pivac’s side fall to a 13-12 defeat at Principality Stadium last weekend. 

And they will have another tough task on their hands when they face Australia, with the Wallabies also out for revenge after losing three of their four Tests this autumn. 

Wales have come out on top in the last three encounters between the two sides, but both teams will be desperate to end the Autumn Nations Series on a high. 

Wales make six changes for Wallabies clash

Wayne Pivac has named a new-look side to face Australia after seeing his team suffer a disappointing defeat in Round 3. 

Ospreys centre Joe Hawkins will make his Wales debut in place of the injured Owen Watkin. 

Legendary lock Alun Wyn Jones has been recalled in place of Ben Carter, and Leigh Halfpenny will make his first start for Wales since the summer of 2021, with Louis Rees-Zammit dropping out of the squad.

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Pivac has gone with the youth of Rio Dyer over the experience of Josh Adams on the wing. 

Gareth Anscombe comes in at fly-half for Rhys Priestland and Taulupe Faletau returns at No.8 for Josh Macleod, who starts on the bench. 

Faletau rugby

England-based players Rees-Zammit, Nick Tompkins, Christ Tshiunza, Dafydd Jenkins and Tommy Reffell are unavailable because the match is being played outside the international window.

Pivac said: “The whole squad is extremely disappointed with last week’s performance. 

“It’s not the result that anybody wanted. It’s not the result that anyone expected. We’ve gone through a review process. 

“We know what went wrong and what is required to get the result this weekend.

“There’s been an injury to Owen Watkin which gives an opportunity to young Joe Hawkins. 

“He’s obviously very excited. He’s been in camp training for the last month and learning a lot and he’s looked good in training, so he gets an opportunity.

“Some players have come back that were not involved last week.

“Certainly, it’s a side we’ve selected to get a result that we’re desperately seeking. 

“They’ve gelled well at the start of the week and we look forward to seeing how we go.”

Rennie makes seven changes to the starting XV

Dave Rennie has made seven changes from the side that lost against Ireland in Round 3. 

There is a new partnership at nine and ten, with Ben Donaldson starting at fly-half for the first time alongside Waratahs teammate Jake Gordon. 

Jordan Petaia comes in on the wing with Tom Wright moving to full-back with Andrew Kellaway dropping out through injury. 

Experienced utility back Reece Hodge returns to the starting XV at inside centre alongside Len Ikitau, to wrap up the changes in the back line. 

Folau Fainga’a is included at hooker in place of Dave Porecki, and there are two changes in the back row. 

Fraser McReight will start at openside flanker alongside new No.8 Langi Gleeson, with Michael Hooper and Rob Valetini among the others who were injured in Dublin.

On the bench, prop Sam Talakai is in line for his Test debut.

Speaking of the decision to give Donaldson the nod at fly-half, Rennie said: “Ben has had a great year. He’s been impressive at training around his skillset and detail and has earned his opportunity to start for his country this week.”

“It’s a special occasion for Sam and his family. 

“Over the past five weeks, he’s impressed us with his diligence and work ethic and deserves the chance to debut on Saturday.

“We’re well aware of a Wales side that will be looking to respond after last week but we’re equally as motivated to finish our season on a positive note here in Cardiff.”

Teams 

Wales: 15. Leigh Halfpenny, 14. Alex Cuthbert, 13. George North, 12. Joe Hawkins, 11. Rio Dyer, 10. Gareth Anscombe, 9. Tomos Williams; 1. Gareth Thomas, 2. Ken Owens, 3. Dillon Lewis, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 6. Jac Morgan, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Taulupe Faletau 

Replacements: 16. Ryan Elias, 17. Rhodri Jones, 18. Tomas Francis, 19. Ben Carter, 20. Josh Macleod, 21. Kieran Hardy, 22. Rhys Priestland, 23. Josh Adams 

Australia: 15. Tom Wright, 14. Jordan Petaia, 13. Len Ikitau, 12. Reece Hodge, 11. Mark Nawaqanitawase, 10. Ben Donaldson, 9. Jake Gordon; 1. James Slipper (c), 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 4. Nick Frost, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Jed Holloway, 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Langi Gleeson 

Replacements: 16. Lachlan Lonergan, 17. Tom Robertson, 18. Sam Talakai, 19. Ned Hanigan 20. Pete Samu, 21. Tate McDermott, 22. Noah Lolesio, 23. Jock Campbell 

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