Rugby World Cup 2011: Gethin Jenkins to captain Wales

Rugby World Cup 2011 third-place play-off: Wales v Australia

  • Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
  • Date: Friday, 21 October
  • Kick-off: 0830 BST / 2030 NZ

Coverage: Live text commentary, scores and report on BBC website; updates on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio 5 live; watch live on ITV1, ITV Wales & S4C (Welsh language), live commentary on BBC Radio Cymru (Welsh language) & TalkSport radio

Gethin Jenkins

Jenkins has captained Wales on two previous occasions

Prop Gethin Jenkins will captain Wales in the absence of Sam Warburton in Friday's World Cup bronze-medal match against Australia at Eden Park.

Toby Faletau moves to open-side flanker in place of Warburton, who is serving a three-week ban after being dismissed in the semi-final defeat by France.

Ryan Jones comes in at number eight, while Alun Wyn Jones is rested.

"We are sticking with most of the side which has put together a string of displays," said coach Warren Gatland.

"The one change which wasn't forced, in the second row, is based on the fact that Alun Wyn Jones ran himself into the ground when we had 14 men against France.

We need to ensure that the history books reflect what we know we are capable of. And it is only by beating the Wallabies on Friday that we feel this will be achieved

Wales coach Warren Gatland

"We face Australia back home in just over a month's time, and we we want that homecoming to be a celebration of us achieving the status of one of the top three teams in the world.

"We have come a long way and put together a string of performances that the nation can be proud of so far in New Zealand.

"And we need to ensure that the history books reflect what we know we are capable of. And it is only by beating the Wallabies on Friday that we feel this will be achieved."

Paul James replaces Adam Jones, who has a calf injury, at tight-head prop, while forwards Ryan Bevington and Andy Powell have been handed call-ups.

Jenkins, who has won 81 international caps for Wales, will lead his country for the third time.

Wales, who have never reached the World Cup final, finished third in 1987, when Paul Thorburn's last-gasp conversion secured a 22-21 victory over Australia.

Meanwhile, Wales have dropped to sixth place in the latest International Rugby Board rankings  . They had risen to fourth after beating Ireland in the World Cup quarter-final, but have now dropped a place below England, who lost to France in their quarter-final.

Wales: L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); G North (Scarlets), J Davies (Scarlets), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Ospreys); J Hook (Perpignan), M Phillips (Bayonne); G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues, capt), H Bennett (Ospreys), P James (Ospreys), B Davies (Cardiff Blues), L Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), D Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), R Jones (Ospreys).

Replacements: L Burns (Newport Gwent Dragons), R Bevington (Ospreys), A-W Jones (Ospreys), A Powell (Sale Sharks), L Williams (Cardiff Blues), S Jones (Scarlets), S Williams (Scarlets).