Wales v Australia: Jonathan Davies misses Wallabies game

Jonathan Davies
Former Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies has won 41 caps for Wales
Autumn international: Wales v Australia
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Saturday, 8 November 2014. Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Wales' Jonathan Davies has failed to recover from injury in time to face Australia and so Northampton wing George North will switch to midfield.

It means Liam Williams starts on the wing with Leigh Halfpenny at full-back.

And Rhys Webb has been selected at scrum-half ahead of Mike Phillips for the match at the Millennium Stadium.

"We have been impressed with the form of Rhys and Dan [Biggar] at half-back for the Ospreys," Wales coach Warren Gatland said.

"It will be good to see them together on this stage again."

Bath loose-head Paul James is preferred to Gethin Jenkins, with the Blues player dropping to the bench.

Sam Warburton will lead the team from open-side, with Dan Lydiate taking the blind-side spot.

Davies, who has played 41 times for Wales, was injured in Clermont's 35-3 European Champions Cup victory over Sale on 26 October.

He missed three of the 2013 autumn Tests and the opening three matches of the 2014 Six Nations with a chest injury.

Wales' autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: v Australia (14:30 GMT)
Saturday, 15 November: v Fiji (14:30 GMT)
Saturday, 22 November: v New Zealand (17:30 GMT)
Saturday, 29 November: v South Africa (14:30 GMT)
All games to be played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

North will line up alongside Jamie Roberts in the centre - the same pairing that played in the 27-6 victory over France in the 2014 Six Nations.

The Northampton wing also played at centre against the Wallabies in the corresponding match last season.

Gatland is forced to switch North to centre after Scarlets centre Scott Williams - the natural replacement for Davies - failed to recover from a hamstring strain.

Blues midfielder Cory Allen has also been hit by injury but is named on the bench.

George North
George North scored two tries in the 30-26 defeat by Australia in November 2013

Gatland added: "Injuries in the midfield mean we get to see Jamie and George line up together there again and we were pleased with how that went earlier in the year."

Wales have lost their past nine encounters with Australia - with the average points difference less than six - and the coach expects this match to be close.

"The last few outings against Australia have been extremely tight, we are expecting the same this weekend and it's going to be another huge battle but it's a challenge we are really looking forward to," he said.


Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Unattached), Sam Warburton (Capt), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (London Wasps), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues).