Preview & key stats: Wales v Australia

Dan Biggar in action for Wales against Australia in the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Dan Biggar makes his 49th appearance for Wales against Australia
Wales Under Armour Test series - Wales v Australia
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 5 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live BBC Wales television and radio commentary; also on the BBC Sport website and app, plus live text commentaries

TEAM NEWS & LINE-UPS

Prop forward Gethin Jenkins leads Wales on his 127th appearance in the absence of Sam Warburton, who instead has game time after injury for Cardiff Blues against Treviso on Friday night.

The Blues flanker is one of three British and Irish Lions missing along with Alun Wyn Jones and Taulupe Faletau, but Leigh Halfpenny returns at full-back after 14-months out.

Australia have made four changes from the team that lost 37-10 to New Zealand, with David Pocock coming in at blind-side flanker.

Coach Michael Cheika resisted the temptation to move Israel Folau from full-back to centre in place of the injured Samu Kerevi whose place is taken by Tevita Kuridrani.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Bradley Davies, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, James King, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Hallam Amos.

Australia: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrania, Reece Hodge, Henry Speight, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (capt), Sekope Kepu, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Lopeti Timani.

Replacements Tolu Latu, James Slipper, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Scott Fardy, Nick Frisby, Quade Cooper, Sefa Naivalu

VIEW FROM BOTH CAMPS

Wales head coach Rob Howley: "The challenge for us has always been that intensity in the first game of the autumn series and that's been a focus for us this week.

"They have a big, physical backline ably led by the half backs. Bernard Foley takes ball to the line - he's a running threat.

"They are a big physical pack - six, seven and eight aim to have an influence around the park.

"With Pocock and Hooper the contact area is always a focus and we'll have to be technically and tactically right."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Wales ‘can’t dwell’ on Warburton absence

Australia head coach Michael Cheika: "We have always seen Wales as a huge opponent.

"And I think the scores we have had when we have played them in recent years have borne that out.

"They have been close games and entertaining games, always. I don't want it to be close on Saturday, but I have a feeling it is going to be.

"Wales played quite well in New Zealand. I thought they were right in those games and took a certain attitude they wanted to play with."

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Australia have won the last 11 meetings between the sides going back to 2008.
  • In seven of those matches the winning margin has been less than a converted try.
  • The match in Cardiff will be the 600th in Australia Test history. In the 300th, they beat Wales 38-3 in Cardiff to send them out of the 1991 Rugby World Cup.

Wales

  • Wales have lost their last four games - three away to New Zealand and one against England at Twickenham - but are on a six-match winning run at Principality Stadium.
  • Since Warren Gatland took charge in 2008, Wales have won just two of 33 games against the traditional Tri Nations sides - against Australia in 2008 and South Africa in 2014.

Australia

  • The Wallabies finished second in the Rugby Championship, losing twice to New Zealand and once against South Africa.
  • David Pocock will make his 62nd appearance for Australia on Saturday - but his first at blindside flanker.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

Assistant referees: Jerome Garces (France), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)

TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Citing commissioner: Mike Rafter (England)

Top Stories