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Injury hit Wales reshuffles team for Melbourne series decider

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named his side for the series decider in Melbourne this coming Saturday – with four changes being made from the outfit that went down to Australia in Sydney last week.

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Two of the four changes are injury-enforced after Aaron Wainwright has been ruled out for the rest of the tour through a hamstring injury and Josh Hathaway being ruled out of this clash due to an elbow injury.

Taine Plumtree will take up the No.8 position and will team up with flanks James Botham and Tommy Reffell to complete the back row – with Mackenzie Martin taking up a spot on the bench.

Cameron Winnett will don the No.15 jersey for his first appearance in Australia with Rio Dyer and the experienced Liam Williams on the wings.

Gatland said: “We’re looking forward to getting back out on pitch this weekend in Melbourne.

“This week we’ve been going through our processes, building on what worked well and sharpening the areas that need improvement.

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“We expect Australia to go up another level this weekend and we know we need to as well.

“We want to start well and make sure we are disciplined and accurate from the off. Then it’s about keeping in the arm-wrestle for the duration.”

Wales: 15 Cameron Winnett, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Mason Grady, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Ben Thomas, 9 Ellis Bevan, 8 Taine Plumtree, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 James Botham, 5 Dafydd Jenkins, 4 Christ Tshiunza, 3 Archie Griffin, 2 Dewi Lake (captain), 1 Gareth Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Evan Lloyd, 17 Kemsley Mathias, 18 Harri O’Connor, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Mackenzie Martin, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Sam Costelow, 23 Nick Tompkins.

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Date: Saturday, July 13
Venue: Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
Kick-off: 19.45 (10.45 UK time; 09.45 GMT)
Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

All Black second row Brodie Retallick joins Jim Hamilton for the latest episode of Walk the Talk, touching on life in Japan, RWC 2023 and the future of All Black rugby. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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