Wales are back against Georgia for their match in Cardiff on Saturday against an injured Australian side who made seven substitutions in a narrowly lost XV to Alun Wyn Jones, Taulupe Faletau, Leigh Halfpenny and Gareth Anscombe. refilled with experience after his humble loss. .
In his trial scoring debut against New Zealand this month, winger Rio Dyer was selected ahead of Josh Adams and Joe Hawkins will make his debut at the all-Ospreys home-back.
Meanwhile, an Australian side following a string of injuries narrowly defeated last weekend by Ireland, meanwhile, features first Test starts for Ben Donaldson and Number 8 Langi Gleeson at halftime.
The Wallabies have not beaten Wales in Wales since 2017 and their European tour started with a Scotland win, followed by defeats in France, Italy and Ireland. As Wayne Pivac comes under increasing scrutiny as Wales coach after a 13-12 loss to Georgia, his Australian counterpart Dave Rennie is also feeling the heat as the Wallabies try to avoid a fourth defeat on the bounce.
«We are well aware that the Wales side will want to respond after last week, but we are equally motivated to finish our season here at Cardiff on a positive note,» said Rennie. “If you look at the wins and the losses, it’s going to be a bad season. We had very tough matches and matches that we needed to win. We need to look at this and turn the pressure into dots at key moments.
“I definitely think we are on the better side. We have a lot of firepower to come back to and I have no doubt that we can bring together a strong side and improve what we do. We may lose our faith in the last few weeks, especially in the performances in Dublin and Paris against the really strong sides, but we need to get better.»
Wales made six substitutions after their Georgia defeat, and this year they have come into play against the Wallabies with just three wins from 11 Tests. Pivac says he can’t let speculation about his future surprise him. «Others make those decisions,» he said.
“What we do internally is make sure we’re prepared to the best of our ability. I can’t be distracted by this kind of thing. At the end of the day, it’s the professional environment we’re in. We know that much is clearly at stake. We will roll up our sleeves this week to achieve the result everyone wants.”
Asked if he had any contact with WRU bosses, Pivac said, «As always. We have weekly contact at each camp and this week has been no different. Focusing on the here and now is just standard. We review campaigns at the end, not during the campaign. So we’re looking at what we’re doing this week and performance. standard stuff discussing how we can improve – normal conversations we’re going to have.
«It’s very, very disappointing to be in this position. As head coach, I am responsible for making a lot of decisions. I have no qualms about that. What we do is look at what we can control. Every day we come in this week, we are at the top of how we get the team right mentally and physically. we leveled up.
«That’s definitely been the focus of everyone this week. The players have been very honest in the reviews and they’ve come out and got physical in practice.
For Australia, favored over Noah Lolesio, Donaldson partnered with Reece Hodge to serve at home with Waratah teammate Jake Gordon, who started in the offensive half.
After Rennie’s captain, Michael Hooper, was the last player to fall by the wayside with a concussion, Rennie only has 25 full-fledged players at his disposal. Supporter Taniela Tupou will also be off the field for seven months after breaking her Achilles.
Australia had a lively response to their embarrassing defeat against Italy two weeks ago and came very close to upsetting the majority of a sold-out Aviva Stadium crowd – but it was a sobering round.
Rennie also gave Gleeson his first start – replacing injured Rob Valetini – with Fraser McReight replacing Hooper on the open wing.
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