Wales and Australia are bracing themselves for a desperate clash to finish off their November internationals. It is the last game of the November Internationals, and the last of Australia’s long season. Both of these teams have found themselves under sever scrutiny over reason matches. Wales have lost five in a row. Australia have also had mixed results, including a narrow win over Italy last weekend, a brave victory over England and a devastating loss to France.
As such, the game sits on a knife-edge. Wales are desperate, although that desperation has not seemed to have helped in their last few games. Australia always plays best when under pressure, so it will be a case of waiting to see which incarnations of these teams show up.
The Wallabies have been decimated by injuries all year, but finally have some solidarity in their lineup. David Pocock returns, but unfortunately that means their best player this year, Matthew Hooper is relegated to the bench. Meanwhile Nathan Sharpe has one more ‘one more’ last hurrah. Time will tell if he will get dragged out of retirement one last time.
Wales have made a number of injury changes this week, including replacing Bradley Davies who was notoriously injured in the opening minutes by an Andrew Hore strike last week. However, they have been able to name Jamie Roberts, who will pair up again with Jonathan Davies, one of last week’s best players.
Wales v Wallabies
Saturday 1 December 14:30 (local) at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
RugbyFix Pick: AUSTRALIA to beat Wales by 3
Wales team to play Wallabies
15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Ian Evans, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Reserves: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Scott Williams.
Wallabies team to play Wales
15 Berrick Barnes, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe (captain), 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Reserves: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Michael Hooper, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Mike Harris, 23 Digby Ioane.