Wales seek redemption as Australia hunt second tour victory

Wales seek redemption as Australia hunt second tour victory

The 45th Test between Wales and Australia is set to play out this weekend in Cardiff as the Welsh seek some redemption after a shock result last weekend against Georgia:


The present Wallabies have the air of a team which is on the verge of finding form. In the present series, they have found themselves on the receiving end of two one-point defeats (against France and then, somewhat surprisingly, against the Italians a week later). They then came close to toppling the high-flying Irish outfit last week:


NSW Waratahs playmaker Ben Donaldson will start at flyhalf for the first time in Wallaby gold on Saturday. 

With a number of players unavailable following the three-point loss to world number one Ireland, Dave Rennie and the selection group has made seven changes to the starting XV. 

Former Junior Wallaby, Donaldson will partner with club captain Jake Gordon who starts at scrumhalf for the side's final Test of 2022. 

A new-look backrow sees Langi Gleeson also earn his first Test start at number eight in place of the injured Rob Valetini, while Fraser McReight comes in for Michael Hooper at openside flanker, with Jed Holloway rounding out the loose forward trio at blindside flanker. 

James Slipper will lead the side as loosehead prop in his 127th appearance for his country, partnering with long-time Brumbies teammates Folau Fainga'a and Allan Alaalatoa in the front row. 

The athletic Nick Frost will be looking to continue his breakout debut season at international level, starting at lock alongside workhorse Cadeyrn Neville for the fourth time this year. 

Melbourne Rebels stalwart Reece Hodge will again showcase his incredible versatility, named at inside centre for the first time in the Test arena since 2016, partnering with Len Ikitau who will again wear the familiar number 13 jersey in the midfield.

After an impressive performance off the bench in Dublin, Jordan Petaia earns a start on the right wing, linking with Tom Wright who is selected at fullback, while Mark Nawaqanitawase completes the back three on the left edge. 

Lachlan Lonergan has been named as the finishing hooker with Force front rower Tom Robertson the replacement loosehead while Rebels journeyman Sam Talakai is in line to become Wallaby number 963 after being selected for a potential debut off the pine as the tighthead cover.

Coonamble-raised Ned Hanigan returns to the game day squad with the versatile Pete Samu selected to cover the backrow, a role he has filled with great impact so far in 2022. 

Queensland captain Tate McDermott returns to the side to provide spark as the replacement scrumhalf, while Noah Lolesio will be the finishing playmaker.  Jock Campbell rounds out the matchday 23 as the back three cover. 

The Wallabies are looking to win at Principality Stadium for the first time since 2017.



In the Welsh camp, Osprey Joe Hawkins will win his first senior men’s international cap, coming in at inside centre for Owen Watkin who has been ruled out of the match due to a knee injury. George North partners Hawkins in the Wales midfield.

Leigh Halfpenny, named at full back, makes his first start for Wales since the summer of 2021 having featured as a replacement last weekend. Rio Dyer and Alex Cuthbert are selected on the wings.

Taulupe Faletau returns to the Wales XV at No. 8 and will make his 100th Test appearance (95th for Wales and five Lions). Joining him in the back row are Jac Morgan (blind-side flanker) and captain Justin Tipuric (open-side flanker).

Alun Wyn Jones is also named in the starting line-up, alongside Adam Beard in the Wales second row. Gareth Thomas (loose-head prop), Ken Owens (hooker) and Dillon Lewis (tight-head prop) continue in the front row.

Gareth Anscombe at fly half starts his third match this November. Tomos Williams is at scrum half.

On the Wales bench the front row cover is provided by Ryan Elias (hooker), Rhodri Jones (loose-head prop) and Tomas Francis (tight-head prop). Ben Carter and Josh Macleod, who made his senior international debut against Georgia, are the other replacement forwards.


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