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Wales announce four changes to starting line up for Australia clash

By PA
Alex Callender of Wales runs the ball during the Pool A Rugby World Cup 2021 match between Wales and New Zealand at Waitakere Stadium on October 16, 2022, in Auckland, New Zealand.

There are four changes and two positional swaps in the Wales Women side named to face Australia on Saturday (14:15 NZ/2.15am UK) following defeat against New Zealand in round 2.

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Up front, Cerys Hale starts at tighthead prop, Alex Callender returns to the openside berth, Gwen Crabb moves back to her more usual position of second row and Bethan Lewis shifts to the blindside. Hannah Jones leads the side.

Behind the scrum, Carys Williams-Morris and Niamh Terry make their first appearances of the tournament at outside centre and full-back. Squad captain Siwan Lillicrap is set to make her 50th Wales appearance off the bench.

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Head coach Ioan Cunningham said, “It’s all on Saturday for us, it’s a massive game, we are really looking forward to it.

“The most important thing for us this week was to get the batteries fully charged mentally and physically for what’s going to be a huge game for us on Saturday against a tough quality opposition.

“We have created a lot of opportunities during the tournament – against Scotland and also New Zealand. It’s important to get our nuts and bolts right – we built a really good set-piece platform last weekend – and then we need to convert our opportunities into tries.

“Australia are a quality team, they have some strong ball carriers and some lethal runners in the back line so they are dangerous with time on the ball.

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“We know we have to have to start on the front foot because if we step off it at all it’s going to be a tough afternoon. We must hold onto the ball and take our chances – and also match Australia in the physical battle.

“It’s good to see Cerys (Hale) back at tighthead, she’s an excellent scrummager, Gwen Crabb is back to her more usual position at second row with Natalia (John), Bethan Lewis was excellent last week and moves to the blindside with Alex Callender freshening up the backrow on the openside. Carys (Williams-Morris) will add her size and physicality to the midfield and we are excited to see Niamh Terry go at full-back.”

Wales team v Australia (Saturday 2.15am UK time) ITV and S4C Clic:

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15 Niamh Terry
14 Jasmine Joyce
13 Carys Williams-Morris
12 Hannah Jones (capt)
11 Lisa Neumann
10 Elinor Snowsill
9 Ffion Lewis
1 Cara Hope
2 Kelsey Jones
3 Cerys Hale
4 Natalia John
5 Gwen Crabb
6 Bethan Lewis
7 Alex Callender
8 Sioned Harries

Replacements:
16 Carys Phillips
17 Caryl Thomas
18 Sisilia Tuipulotu
19 Georgia Evans
20 Siwan Lillicrap
21 Keira Bevan
22 Robyn Wilkins
23 Kerin Lake

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