Wales tweak winning formula
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales have made three changes to their starting XV to face Australia in Cardiff on Saturday.
Tomas Francis, Adam Beard and Josh Adams all come into the starting XV from the side that beat Scotland in Wales’ opening Series clash.
Warren Gatland has rewarded players for their June tour performances in his selection with Adams the only change in the backline.
He features in the back-three alongside Leigh Halfpenny and George North with Scarlets duo Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies named in midfield. Gareth Anscombe and Gareth Davies continue their partnership at halfback.
In the pack Francis comes into the front-row alongside Nicky Smith and Elliot Dee.
Beard, who started both tests against Argentina in the summer, packs down alongside captain Alun Wyn Jones. The back row of Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty remains unchanged from the opening encounter.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) November 8, 2018
Wales extended their unbeaten run to six matches with victory over Scotland and Gatland is challenging his players to make it seven on Saturday.
“We were pleased to get a good opening win under our belts last weekend and this Saturday is all about building on that,” said Gatland.
“With selection we wanted some continuity and to be consistent but also mindful there are a number of players who did really well for us in June and they need to be rewarded and have their opportunity.
“Adam [Beard] impressed in the summer as did Josh [Adams] and they deserve the chance to start.
“There is a really good balance to the team, a lot of competition which is exactly what we wanted.
“The bench is packed with quality and experience and it will be great to see them have an impact on Saturday,”
Wales’ experienced replacements bench features Elliot Dee, Rob Evans and Dillon Lewis as the front-row replacements with summer tour co-captains Cory Hill and Ellis Jenkins completing the forward contingent. Tomos Williams and British & Irish Lions duo Dan Biggar and Liam Williams provide the backline cover.
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Liam Williams.
Date: Saturday, November 10
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 17.20 (17.20 GMT; 04.20 AEDT Sunday, November 11)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)