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Wales make 7 changes to their starting team versus the Wallabies

By Liam Heagney

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Wayne Pivac has named a Wales team to take on the Wallabies in this Saturday’s Autumn Nations Series game in Cardiff that shows seven changes from the starting XV that defeated Fiji last Sunday. Changes were guaranteed on Wednesday when a WRU statement ruled out injured pair WillGriff John and Will Rowlands.

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Tomas Francis comes in at tighthead while lock Seb Davies gets a first start of the autumn campaign to offset the loss of John and Rowlands, but there are two other changes to the starting pack. Wyn Jones is in at loosehead for Rhys Carre and Aaron Wainwright comes in at No8 for Thomas Young, whose exclusion at openside sees Taine Bashman, last week’s No8, switch position.

There are three changes in the backs. Uilisi Halaholo is a starter at inside centre in place of Johnny Williams, Josh Adams is chosen at wing in place of Alex Cuthbert, whose No14 jersey will be worn by the flank-swapping Louis Rees-Zammit, while Tomas Williams is back at scrum-half in place of Kieran Hardy.

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“It has been a tough campaign but one where we have exposed more players to this level of rugby, which all bodes well for the future,” said Wales boss Pivac. “With the injuries we have faced, we have had to adapt and those are opportunities that some of the players have taken very well.

“Australia have been on the road for a while now, the series they had down south and a couple of losses in the last couple of games. They will be hurting from that and the will want to finish their tour on a high note, as we would like to finish our campaign on a high note. It bodes well for a pretty interesting fixture.

“Dave Rennie brings a physical approach to the game and we certainly expect that from the Australians but we have to be able to match that and impose ourselves on the game. It’s going to be an enthralling encounter and a great way to finish a series. We are really looking forward to Saturday. This week I’d encourage (the crowd) to be even louder and noisier.”

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WALES (vs Wallabies, Saturday)
15 Liam Williams (Scarlets)
14 Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby)
13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
12 Uilisi Halaholo (Cardiff Rugby)
11 Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby)
10 Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints)
9 Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby);
1 Wyn Jones (Scarlets)
2 Ryan Elias (Scarlets)
3 Tomas Francis (Ospreys)
4 Adam Beard (Ospreys)
5 Seb Davies (Cardiff Rugby)
6 Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Rugby – captain)
7 Taine Basham (Dragons)
8 Aaron Wainwright (Dragons)
Replacements
16 Elliot Dee (Dragons)
17 Gareth Thomas (Ospreys)
18 Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby)
19 Ben Carter (Dragons)
20 Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs)
21 Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
22 Rhys Priestland (Cardiff Rugby)
23 Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets)

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