Wales v Australia: Christian Leali'ifano happy to avoid Davies

Christian Leali'ifano scores for Australia against Wales in 2013
Christian Leali'ifano scored a try and kicked 15 points against Wales in 2013
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.

Australian centre Christian Leali'ifano says he is relieved not to be facing Jonathan Davies when the Wallabies play Wales in Cardiff.

Centre Davies is ruled out with a shoulder injury and is replaced in midfield by wing George North.

Leali'ifano, 27, was carried off after a collision with the Clermont Auvergne centre the first time the players met.

"Jonathan Davies knocked me out in my first Test, so it'll be good not to have him there," he said.

The Wallaby's debut against the British and Irish Lions lasted less than a minute before he had to be carried off on a stretcher after a collision with Davies.

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However, the Brumbies player, expects North to pose a serious threat in midfield.

"I think George is not going to be too much different - really hard and strong," added Leali'ifano.

"I think he's going to be a lot more direct, use his size and speed.

"He's such a lethal winger and when they bring him one in [to centre] and he gets to touch the ball a bit more, it's going to be very dangerous for us.

"So we've just got to be on our toes in defence and limit his opportunities as best we can."

Leali'ifano has happier memories of his last match against Wales however, when he claimed 20 points in the 30-26 win at the Millennium Stadium in November 2013.

That was Australia's ninth consecutive win over the Welsh, and the teams will meet again in the pool stages of the World Cup in October 2015.

The player, however, does not think past form or the World Cup will be high on the players' list of priorities.

"You don't really take too much notice, but you probably can use it as a bit of confidence as well," he said.

Christian Leali'ifano gives the thumbs up as he's carried off on a stretcher
Christian Leali'ifano played in the second Test against the British and Irish Lions in 2013 a week after being carried off following a collision with Jonathan Davies 49 seconds into the opening Test.

"We just see it as like a new side trying to come together and find our own way.

"There's a lot riding on the game, they're trying to break that run and we're just trying to play some good footie that we're proud of.

"The [World Cup] is so far from my mind. I've not been playing for a whole year so I'm just trying to make the most of the chance. You can't look too far ahead.

"I don't see any of this as building for the world cup or anything like that, it's making the most of every opportunity you get."

Australia name their team to play Wales on Thursday.

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).

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