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Wales bring back the big guns for crunch Wallabies clash

Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland looks on/ PA

Warren Gatland has named his side to take on the Wallabies in Lyon on Sunday, in what is one of the most important matches of the pool stages.


Adam Beard is named in the second row to win his 50th cap for Wales, with Will Rowlands starting alongside him.

Jac Morgan captains the side and starts his third match of the tournament after coming in as a late injury replacement for Tommy Reffell against Portugal last weekend. Taulupe Faletau at No. 8 and Louis Rees-Zammit on the wing are the other two players to start in all of Wales’ pool matches so far. Aaron Wainwright returns at blindside flanker to complete the back row.

Nick Tompkins and George North continue their centre partnership while Gareth Davies is named at scrum-half with Dan Biggar returning at fly-half.

Ryan Elias is named at hooker for his tenth RWC appearance across two tournaments, with Gareth Thomas starting at loosehead prop and Tomas Francis at tighthead prop.

Gatland said: “We’re happy with our position going into this game. We have two wins and ten points. There’s a confidence among this group and we’ve had a good edge to training this week.

“Everyone wants to be involved and there were some disappointed players this week, which is exactly what we want with competition strong across the squad.


“Every game in the World Cup is tough, the stakes are high, and this will be no different. Australia have talented players and we know they will want to come out and put in a performance this weekend.

“Our accuracy was good against Fiji, but it was not at the level we would like against Portugal. We are looking to get better every week. Against Australia we know we have to take our chances and put them under as much pressure as possible.


1 Gareth Thomas
2 Ryan Elias
3 Tomas Francis
4 Will Rowlands
5 Adam Beard
6 Aaron Wainwright
7 Jac Morgan (c)
8 Taulupe Faletau
9 Gareth Davies
10 Dan Biggar
11 Josh Adams
12 Nick Tompkins
13 George North
14 Louis Rees-Zammit
15 Liam Williams

16 Elliot Dee
17 Corey Domachowski
18 Henry Thomas
19 Dafydd Jenkins
20 Taine Basham
21 Tomos Williams
22 Gareth Anscombe
23 Rio Dyer


Last 5 Meetings

Average Points scored
First try wins
Home team wins

The Wallabies meanwhile have made a big change in their approach as head coach Eddie Jones has made the decision of naming Ben Donaldson as the team’s fly-half.


Donaldson, who initially began the tournament as a fullback, will now assume the vital role of wearing the coveted number 10 jersey. This move follows the injury to Carter Gordon in the previous match against Fiji, which the Wallabies lost 22-15.



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mitch 36 minutes ago
The Wallabies team Joe Schmidt must pick to win back Bledisloe Cup

Rodda will be a walk up starter at lock. Frost if you analyse his dominance has little impact and he’s a long way from being physical enough, especially when you compare to Rodda and the work he does. He was quite poor at the World Cup in his lack of physicality. Between Rodda and Skelton we would have locks who can dominate the breakdown and in contact. Frost is maybe next but Schmidt might go for a more physical lock who does their core work better like Ryan or LSL. Swain is no chance unless there’s a load of injuries. Pollard hasn’t got the scrum ability yet to be considered. Nasser dominated him when they went toe to toe and really showed him up. Picking Skelton effects who can play 6 and 8. Ideally Valetini would play 6 as that’s his best position and Wilson at 8 but that’s not ideal for lineout success. Cale isn’t physical enough yet in contact and defence but is the best backrow lineout jumper followed by Wright, Hanigan and Swinton so unfortunately Valetini probably will start at 8 with Wright or Hanigan at 6. Wilson on the bench, he’s got too much quality not to be in the squad. Paisami is leading the way at 12 but Hamish Stewart is playing extremely well also and his ball carrying has improved significantly. Beale is also another option based on the weekend. Beale is class but he’s also the best communicator of any Australian backline player and that can’t be underestimated, he’ll be in the mix.

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