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Late injury blow for Wales as Principality Stadium roof left partially open

By PA
The Millenium Stadium in Cardiff

The Principality Stadium roof has been left partially open in Cardiff for today’s Autumn Nations Series game between Wales and Australia due to a fault.

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Wales’ hopes of playing the game under a completely-closed Principality Stadium roof were dashed by a computer glitch.

Weather warnings are in place for many parts of South Wales later on Saturday, including Cardiff, with a forecast of heavy rain, but the match was set to kick off with a three-metre gap between the roof’s two sections just above the halfway line.

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Video Spacer

“The computer software which controls the roof mechanism has encountered a mechanical fault which could take several hours to repair, and therefore cannot be resolved before kick-off,” a Principality Stadium spokesperson said.

Wales also suffered a late injury blow when full-back Leigh Halfpenny was ruled out.

Halfpenny, who had been due to make his first Test start for 16 months, suffered a back spasm during the warm-up.

Wing Josh Adams was promoted off the bench and handed the number 15 shirt, with Scarlets back Sam Costelow joining the replacements.

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Wales are looking to bounce back from an embarrassing defeat against Georgia as they chased a fourth successive victory over final Autumn Nations Series opponents Australia.

Head coach Wayne Pivac, whose job has been under intense scrutiny since that 13-12 loss in Cardiff, handed a Test debut to Ospreys centre Joe Hawkins, while world record cap holder Alun Wyn Jones made his first Wales start since March.

Number eight Taulupe Faletau clocked up 100 Tests for Wales and the British and Irish Lions, but injury-hit Australia were without key players like Michael Hooper, Nic White and Taniela Tupou.

UPDATED TEAM: J Adams (Cardiff); A Cuthbert (Ospreys), G North (Ospreys), J Hawkins (Ospreys), R Dyer (Dragons); G Anscombe (Ospreys), T Williams (Cardiff); G Thomas (Ospreys), K Owens (Scarlets), D Lewis (Cardiff), A Beard (Ospreys), A W Jones (Ospreys), J Morgan (Ospreys), J Tipuric (Ospreys, capt), T Faletau (Cardiff).

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Replacements: R Elias (Scarlets), R Jones (Dragons), T Francis (Ospreys), B Carter (Dragons), J Macleod (Scarlets), K Hardy (Scarlets), R Priestland (Cardiff)

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