Warren Gatland reverts to the side that beat Fiji for the huge pool clash with the Wallabies on Sunday – victory in Lyon will clinch a place in the knockout stage
Wales have announced their team to face Australia on Sunday night (kick-off 8pm). And they have reverted to the starting XV that beat Fiji for the massive Rugby World Cup clash with the Wallabies.
Co-captain Dewi Lake is omitted having led the side against Portugal, with Ryan Elias preferred at hooker. Prop Henry Thomas is set for his tournament debut from the bench.
With two bonus-point wins behind them, Wales can secure their place in the quarter-finals with a victory in Lyon – whilst leaving Australia on the brink of exiting a World Cup at the pool stage for the first time.
Second-row Adam Beard will win his 50th cap for Wales while the returnees include Dan Biggar, Man of the Match in the dramatic 32-26 win against Fiji.
Related: Dan Biggar’s Life in Pictures
Skipper Jac Morgan, a late replacement for Tommy Reffell against Portugal last week, No 8 Taulupe Faletau and wing Louis Rees-Zammit start for the third match running.
Head coach Warren 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.
“Every game in the World Cup is tough, the stakes are high, and this will be no different. We know Australia will want to 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 have to take our chances. If we play the way we know we can and maintain that for 80 minutes, we’ll be very hard to beat.”
Here is the Wales line-up.
Wales team to play Australia
Wales Liam Williams; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Gareth Thomas, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Adam Beard, Aaron Wainwright, Jac Morgan (capt), Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Dafydd Jenkins, 20 Taine Basham, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Rio Dyer.
Wales Rugby World Cup squad 2023
Taine Basham (Dragons, 13 caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys, 47 caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons,43 caps)
Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby, 2 caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets, 34 caps)
Taulupe Falatau (Cardiff Rugby, 100 caps)
Tomos Francis (Provence, 72 caps)
Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs, 7 caps)
Dewi Lake (Ospreys, 9 caps)
Dillon Lewis (Harlequins, 51 caps)
Dan Lydiate (Dragons, 71 caps)
Jac Morgan (Ospreys, 11 caps)
Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)
Will Rowlands (Dragons, 25 caps)
Nicky Smith (Ospreys, 44 caps)
Gareth Thomas (Ospreys, 22 caps)
Henry Thomas (Montpellier, 2 caps)
Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs, 7 caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons, 39 caps)
Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, 50 Caps)
Gareth Anscombe (Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath, 35 caps)
Dan Biggar (Toulon, 109 Caps)
Sam Costelow (Scarlets, 4 caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets, 69 Caps)
Rio Dyer (Dragons, 9 caps)
Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby, 4 caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Unattached, 100 Caps)
George North (Ospreys, 114 Caps)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby (27 caps)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens, 28 caps)
Johnny Williams (Scarlets, 6 caps)
Liam Williams (Kubota Spears, 85 Caps)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby, 48 Caps)
Wales Rugby World Cup Pool
Wales have been drawn in Pool C alongside Australia, Fiji, Georgia and Portugal.
Click here for the entire Rugby World Cup 2023 fixtures list or read on for Wales’ games.
Sun 10 Sept Wales v Fiji (Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux), 8pm
Sat 16 Sept Wales v Portugal (Stade de Nice, Nice), 4.45pm
Sun 24 Sept Wales v Australia (Parc OL, Lyon), 8pm
Sat 7 Oct Wales v Georgia (Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes), 2pm
The knockout stages will follow the same format as previous years, with teams from Pools A and B then Pools C and D meeting in the quarter-finals. So Wales and England could meet in the last eight, for example.
QF1 – Winner Pool C v Runner-up Pool D
QF2 – Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A
QF3 – Winner Pool D v Runner-up Pool C
QF4 – Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B
Then the semi-finals will be the Winner of QF1 v Winner QF2 and the Winner QF3 v Winner QF4.
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