Wales v Australia: Taulupe Faletau confident in Wales back-row

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Scrum V: Who should Wales pick for Australia?
Autumn international: Wales v Australia
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 11 November Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two & S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Number eight Taulupe Faletau says the Wales back-row will be competitive against Australia in Cardiff on Saturday despite a lengthy injury list.

Fellow British and Irish Lions Sam Warburton and Ross Moriarty, plus Ellis Jenkins and Ollie Griffiths are out, while Justin Tipuric is a doubt.

Josh Navidi, Sam Cross, Aaron Shingler and Dan Lydiate are all in contention.

"They're all capable of holding their own - there'd be no issues with whoever comes in," said Faletau.

"Everybody knows the quality Justin has, but it's an opportunity for someone else to step in and play that role.

Taulupe Faletau will be without injured Lions back-row colleague Sam Warburton when Wales face Australia on Saturday
Taulupe Faletau will be without injured Lions back-row colleague Sam Warburton when Wales face Australia on Saturday

"The players who are in the squad… they all warrant being here. They've been playing well for their clubs and I'm sure they'd want to do the same for Wales.

"Regarding who's around me… I don't think it adds any extra pressure on me. You just put pressure on yourself to play your own game and do well."

Cardiff Blues back-row Navidi has three caps, while Olympic Sevens silver medallist Cross has won the nod over the likes of Wasps open-side Thomas Young, who is not in the squad despite being capped on Wales' summer tour to Tonga and Samoa.

Scarlets' Shingler has 10 caps, while and Ospreys blind-side specialist Lydiate has 60 Wales and three Lions caps but has not played for his country since injuring his knee in the 2016 autumn series.

Moriarty, who has 17 caps, was injured in the opening game of the Lions' tour of New Zealand and did not make his return for Gloucester until last Saturday, 4 November.

Wales open their autumn series against an Australia side who beat world champions New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup last month and warmed up for their trip to Cardiff by thrashing Japan 63-30.

After the match against the Wallabies, Warren Gatland's side then face Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa on consecutive weekends.

Despite their injury concerns - with Lions scrum-half Rhys Webb also doubtful - Faletau insists Wales can get off to a winning start by securing their first victory over the Wallabies since 2008.

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"Australia had a good end to the Championship (against New Zealand) and a decent win against Japan at the weekend," he said.

"Their confidence is high and it went well for them here last autumn (when Australia beat Wales 32-8).

"But we back ourselves to play against anybody and win.

"A few of our games against them have been close. I think it comes down to the last 20 minutes of games and making sure we sustain the challenge for the whole 80.

"That's maybe where we've fallen off and they've won the games.

"We've just got to play our game and try to impose ourselves on them. Hopefully it'll click on Saturday."

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