Home Rugby Warren Gatland’s Likely Starting XV For Australia Clash

Warren Gatland’s Likely Starting XV For Australia Clash

during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final match between South Africa and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on October 17, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.

Warren Gatland will tomorrow name his team for Saturday’s opening autumn international against Australia in Cardiff, which sees Wales also take on Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Despite Cardiff Blues starlet Seb Davies’ fine form, Scarlets workhorse Jake Ball who has also caught the eye this season, is expected to continue to partner Alun Wyn Jones in the second-row.

The talismanic Alun Wyn Jones, who has shone in a poor Ospreys side this season, skippers the side from lock and will make his one hundred and eleventh appearance for his country.

With Lions captain Sam Warburton ruled out of the whole of the autumn tests because of injury and with Ross Moriarty having only returned from a back injury last weekend, the back-row is much-changed.

In-form Scarlets flanker Aaron Shingler is set to start at six with Taulupe Faletau – Wales’ most consistent performer at eight, while versatile Cardiff Blues backrower Josh Navidi, is tipped to start at seven in place of the Ospreys’ Justin Tipuric who is struggling with a thigh muscle injury.

Wales will be looking to end a twelve match losing streak against the Wallabies, which has seen them fail to beat them since 2008.

Starting at full-back, Scarlets 15 Leigh Halfpenny is expected to get the nod over Saracens’ Liam Williams despite Gatland opting for the latter during the Lions’ drawn series against New Zealand over the summer.

Despite Williams’ greater attacking threat, the fact that the 26-year-old has played all his rugby on the wing for the current European champions this season is expected to count against him, and most tellingly due to the welsh management’s view that he is more effective on the wing rather than at full-back.

Lions man of the series Jonathan Davies is nailed on at 13 while Gloucester fly-half Owen Williams, who has experience of playing at inside-centre, is expected to get the nod at 12 as Wales seek to go with a ball-playing 12 as they seek to move away from Warrenball and play a more expansive, ball in hand game.

Experienced pivot Dan Biggar, the man in possession  of the ten shirt who impressed for the Lions during the summer, is tipped to start at ten in a 10-12 axis of two outside-halves with the combative 28-year-old expected to be asked to play in a more attacking way: standing flatter and taking the ball more to the gain-line, asking more questions of the opposition defence.

With Rhys Webb struggling with a leg injury and not having played for around a month, Gareth Davies is likely to start at nine.

While up front, despite having been out of action since September with concussion, dynamic Scarlets loosehead Rob Evans is tipped to start at one with Lions reserve hooker Ken Owens wearing the number two jersey and the strong scrummaging Samson Lee at three, completing an all scarlet front-row.

Despite Cardiff Blues starlet Seb Davies’ fine form, Scarlets workhorse Jake Ball who has also caught the eye this season, is expected to continue to partner Alun Wyn Jones in the second row.

The talismanic Alun Wyn Jones, who has shone in a poor Ospreys side this season, skippers the side from lock and will make his one hundred and eleventh appearance for his country.

With Lions captain Sam Warburton ruled out of the whole of the autumn tests because of injury and with Ross Moriarty having only returned from a back injury last weekend, the back row is much-changed.

In-form Scarlets flanker Aaron Shingler is set to start at six with Taulupe Faletau- Wales’ most consistent performer, starting at eight, while versatile Cardiff Blues backrower Josh Navidi is tipped to start at seven in place of the Ospreys’ Justin Tipuric, who is struggling with a thigh muscle injury.

Here is Warren Gatland’s likely starting XV against Australia –

15. Leigh Halfpenny

14. Steff Evans

13. Jonathan Davies

12. Owen Williams

11. Liam Williams

10. Dan Biggar

9. Gareth Davies

1. Rob Evans

2. Ken Owens

3. Samson Lee

4. Jake Ball

5. Alun Wyn Jones (Captain)

6. Aaron Shingler

8. Taulupe Faletau

7. Josh Navidi

  

   

Join The Biggest Rugby Club in Ireland

The Heineken Rugby Club is bringing Ireland together over cold beers and big games. No matter which team you back, we’re all friends here. Become a member for access to match tickets, member discounts and rewards, exclusive events, and much more.
  • I agree to Heineken Rugby Club House Rules and Privacy Policy. Over 18's only.

About Hefin Jones

Hefin Jones
Hefin is a sports anorak with a love for cricket, boxing and football but a particular penchant for rugby. English teacher, Journalism student and Scarlets fan. Attempt to tweet trilingually @hefrhys.

Check Also

Watch: You Can’t Help But Be Impressed With Johann Van Graan’s First Munster Interview

Johann van Graan is in his first week as Munster’s new head coach and he …