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Aaron Wainwright ruled out as Wales name team to take on Wallabies

By Finn Morton
Warren Gatland, Head Coach of Wales is pictured ahead of the Summer Rugby International between South Africa and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on June 22, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Taine Plumtree will start in the No. 8 jersey for just the second time in his young Test career after incumbent Aaron Wainwright was ruled out of the remainder of Wales’ tour in Australia with a devastating hamstring injury.

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Wainwright, 26, put in a solid shift in last weekend’s 25-16 loss to the Wallabies in Sydney before unfortunately limping off the field with 80 minutes and 37 seconds up on the match clock. That has proved to be a big moment in the context of this two-match series.

Technical coach Rob Howley couldn’t confirm earlier this week whether the 50-Test backrower would be available to suit up on Saturday evening, but now rugby fans know the answer. Wainwright will not take the field, but it’s not all bad news for the Welsh.

Video Spacer

Joe Schmidt and Liam Wright after Wallabies win over Wales

Coach Joe Schmidt and captain Liam Wright spoke to media following their 25-16 win over Wales in Sydney. Wright became the 89th captain of Australia when he led the side out for the first time in front of more than 35,00

Video Spacer

Joe Schmidt and Liam Wright after Wallabies win over Wales

Coach Joe Schmidt and captain Liam Wright spoke to media following their 25-16 win over Wales in Sydney. Wright became the 89th captain of Australia when he led the side out for the first time in front of more than 35,00

There was some uncertainty surrounding the fitness and availability of outside back Liam Williams but the Kubota Spears flyer has been named in the Wales XV. Williams will shift from fullback to the right wing, with Cameron Winnett earning a start in the No. 15 jumper.

Josh Hathaway drops out of the starting side to accommodate for that selection in what are the only changes to the backline that took on the Aussies last time out.

The tight five also remains the same with Gareth Thomas, captain Dewi Lake and Archie Griffin making up the front three. Lining up in the middle row is the towering duo of Christ Tshiunza and Dafydd Jenkins.

Loose forward James Botham has been promoted off the bench with coach Warren Gatland named the Cardiff Blues enforcer to start at blindside flanker. Tommy Reffell and Plumtree round out what’s a strong-look Welsh outfit.

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“We are looking forward to getting back out on pitch this weekend in Melbourne,” coach Warren Gatland said in a statement.

“This week we’ve been going through our processes, building on what worked well and sharpening the areas that need improvement.

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
3
Draws
0
Wins
2
Average Points scored
26
29
First try wins
60%
Home team wins
60%

“We expect Australia to go up another level this weekend and we know we need to as well.

“We want to start well and make sure we are disciplined and accurate from the off. Then it’s about keeping in the arm-wrestle for the duration.”

Wales hasn’t won a Test since getting the better of Georgia in last year’s Rugby World Cup pool stages. Cymru has since lost eight matches on the bounce, so they’ll be looking to snap that streak before it extends to nine in Melbourne.

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The second Test between Wales and Australia at Melbourne’s AAMI Park will get underway at 19:45 (local time) / 10:45 (BST) on Saturday.

Wales team to take on Wallabies in Melbourne

15. Cameron Winnett

14. Liam Williams

13. Owen Watkin

12. Mason Grady

11. Rio Dyer

10. Ben Thomas

9. Ellis Bevan

1. Gareth Thomas

2. Dewi Lake (c)

3. Archie Griffin

4. Christ Tshiunza

5. Dafydd Jenkins

6. James Botham

7. Tommy Reffell

8. Taine Plumtree

Replacements

16. Evan Lloyd

17. Kemsley Mathias

18. Harri O’Connor

19. Cory Hill

20. Mackenzie Martin

21. Kieran Hardy

22. Sam Costelow

23. Nick Tompkins

All Black second row Brodie Retallick joins Jim Hamilton for the latest episode of Walk the Talk, touching on life in Japan, RWC 2023 and the future of All Black rugby. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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Comments

1 Comment
T
Thomas 13 days ago

So that will be a comfortable W for the Wallabies.

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