Wales team to play Australia

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Wales duo Alex Cuthbert and Scott Williams have returned from injury to be named in the starting line-up for the Dove Men Series finale against Australia on Saturday.

Williams has recovered from a toe injury to be named in the midfield against the Wallabies and will line-up alongside Cardiff Blues centre Owen Williams, who scored on his first outing at the Millennium Stadium last Friday.

Cuthbert, who has scored nine tries in his 18 appearances for Wales, will line-up in an experienced back-three with George North and Cardiff Blues’ Leigh Halfpenny. At half back, Dan Biggar and Mike Phillips continue their partnership which has seen them feature six times together this year.

“It’s great to have Alex and Scott available and they bring a lot of experience into the backline,” said Gatland. “Alex and the medical teams have worked really hard to ensure he is ready for this weekend and it’s great to be able to bring him back into the side. We thought Owen (Williams) performed well in the centre against Tonga and he gets another opportunity on Saturday.

“There is a lot of experience in the pack for what is going to be a very physical game. We are looking to finish the series off well, the last three games against Australia have gone right down to the wire and I don’t expect anything different this weekend.”

What do you make of the Wales team? Will they beat Australia on Saturday?

Wales team to play Australia:
Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Owen Williams (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), George North (Northampton Saints), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Unattached), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

11 thoughts on “Wales team to play Australia

  1. Im glad Biggar got the nod but a bit worried that Ryan Jones is second row cover… AWJ & Ian Evans better stick it out and look out for stray boots to the head in rucks. Hope cuthbert is actually fit, wales have missed him.

  2. Playing outside the the IRB window yet again as Roger the Dodger seeks to pay off the stadium debt early.

    Does he have a clause in his contract offering a big bonus for early debt reduction?

    Why else are Wales playing this game at this time? No-one else is!

    Losing to Aus last year this time dropped us in a RWC pool with England and Aus in 2015!

    Roger the Dodger clearly thinks cash is more important than IRB rankings ahead of RWC pooling as per 2012 and well above player well-being and burn out for 2013 after a Lions Tour.

    Imagine if the two regions had something to play for in Europe on Friday night but won’t get their players back until later next week. Their opponets have had 2 weeks together- Blues and Ospreys will get a few days if their internationals are not injured this weekend

    Time for the WRU get a grip and think long term!

      1. My comments are concerned with the well being of the team and the constant over-playing of team members.

        Every 4th year numerous guys from any of the 4 Home Nations who go on Lions tours end up injured in the season that follows because their bodies are ground down by the demands of training and playing.

        Many of them miss months out the following year.

        These guys need a break and as far as the WRU they are again being used as cash generators. We’ve lost both 1st chocie centres and the 1st choice tighthead.
        Someone like Hibbard or AWJ will get injured next and Wales simply does not have the player resources to make good losses to the 1st choie XV.

        Roger the Dodger should read the children’s story about the goose and the golden egg. He might learn something.

        1. I dont get it to be honest, yes everyone needs a rest but if these 22 weren’t playing for Wales this weekend they’d be slogging it out for the regions for sure in the Rabo wouldn’t they?

  3. Glad the centres look strong – Beck has not convinced me. Worried, given Aus recent performances, about the lack of Adam up front. I hope the Cuthbert call is the right one, I hope he’s 100%. Agree with the Biggar call – Priestland not looked sharp enough and too much kicking against SA.

    Will we win? Not a chance. Not a sniff. I’ve given up on Wales v SH teams. We might get close, but I wouldn’t bank on that either.

    Why do I think this? It’s nothing to do with the quality of the teams on the pitch. We have the quality to win (not underestimating this improved Aus side though), but I’m on the wrong side of 40 and have thus seen us cock it up far too often now to expect anything else. Glad the players are 20 years younger or they’d be feeling the same (though given last year perhaps they are as well).

  4. Yes some us are old to remember the 1988 NZ tour, the 1991 Aus tour, the 1987 RWC V NZ, the 1991 RWC v West Sam and also v Aus.

    Welsh teams clearly have a longstanding mental block about not beating SH sides.

    Summer 2012 x2 v Aus away and again at home in Autumn 2012.

    They simply cannot close out such matches it as if some robotic screw up switch gets flicked and it always always ends in another heroic failure and defeat.

  5. Probably the best side available IMHO, lot of people wanted Tips in from the start but I’m happy he will be coming on later when the Aussies are (hopefully) on their haunches & the game is there to be won. Cuthbert is a worry for me, out for about 6 weeks & threw straight in the deep end, having said that you have to trust the managemant team, they see the guys every day & I’m sure if there was any doubt then he wouldn’t be in, Liam Williams to come on about the hour mark I would imagine.
    If Wales can show the kind of commitment & belief they did against England I am fairly confident they can win, though no doubt it will be close yet again.

  6. If Wales are to beat Australia , (apart from the obvious of having to win the ball in the first place) – – – – – – –

    they have to-

    -absolutely believe in themselves
    -get all the basics right all of the time & not just some of the time (not least the line outs)
    -play for 80 + minutes (& not just some of the time)
    -kick every penalty opportunity to keep scoreboard ticking over (rather than fancy kicks to touch)
    -keep it simple (like kicking to the corners)
    -play the in form players from kick off

    —score more points than Australia !

    That`s all.

    Simples !

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