Australia v Wales: Wales keep faith with same side for third Test

 

Third Test - Australia v Wales

  • Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
  • Date: Saturday, 23 June
  • Kick-off: 06:00 BST

Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Sport website. Live score updates on BBC Sport website

Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley has named an unchanged XV as they seek to avoid a series whitewash against Australia in Sydney on Saturday.

The tourists will also seek to claim their first victory on Australian soil since 1969.

Wales were beaten 27-19 in the first Test and then denied by a last-minute penalty in last week's 25-23 loss.

The only change from Melbourne is on the bench, with Ken Owens replacing Richard Hibbard as the reserve hooker.

"We know what we have to do to beat Australia, but there is a difference between knowing how to win and achieving that aim," said Howley.

"This Wales team was within around 30 seconds of beating the Wallabies on their home patch for the first time in 43 years.

"The challenge now is to go one better than that and make sure we are ahead on the scoreboard, not just when the hooter goes but when the game finishes this weekend.

Wales's Tri-Nations wins in southern hemisphere

  • 21 June 1969: Australia 16-19 Wales (Sydney)
  • 18 June 1987: Australia 21-22 Wales (Rugby World Cup third-placed play-off, Rotorua)

"The players can take some credit for the way they played for the large part of the match on Saturday, but that will be scant consolation if we don't come home with a win in this series.

"We have risen to our highest position [fourth] in the IRB World Rankings because of our performances so far this season, which can have positive repercussions for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

"But now we want to stay there and that means coming away with the spoils on Saturday afternoon."

Dragons number eight Toby Faletau (broken hand), Scarlets back-row Aaron Shingler (dead leg) and Dragons wing Aled Brew (hip) were ruled out because of injury and have already flown home.

Leigh Halfpenny's 13-point haul last week meant he broke into the Wales top 10 list of Test points scorers, having scored 168 points in just 34 caps.

The Cardiff Blues full-back or wing climbed to number eight, moving above wing great Ieuan Evans and fly-half legend Phil Bennett.

Halfpenny's mentor and kicking coach Neil Jenkins heads the Wales points list with 1,049 points.

Australia coach Robbie Deans has made just two changes in personnel to his starting side, recalling full-back Kurtley Beale and starting Sitaleki Timani at lock in place of Rob Simmons.

Adam Ashley-Cooper moves to the right wing to accommodate Beale, with Cooper Vuna axed from the squad.

Teams:

Australia: Kurtley Beale (Melbourne Rebels); Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW), Rob Horne (NSW), Pat McCabe (ACT), Digby Ioane (Queensland); Berrick Barnes (NSW), Will Genia (Queensland); Benn Robinson (NSW), Tatafu Polota-Nau (NSW), Sekope Kepu (NSW), Sitaleki Timani (NSW), Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), Scott Higginbotham (Queensland), David Pocock (Western Force, capt), Wycliff Palu (NSW).

Replacements: Stephen Moore (ACT), Ben Alexander (ACT), Rob Simmons (Queensland), Dave Dennis (NSW), Michael Hooper (ACT), N White (ACT), A Fainga'a (Queensland).

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Blues); Alex Cuthbert (Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), George North (Scarlets); Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne); Gethin Jenkins (Toulon), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Dragons), Sam Warburton (Blues, capt), Ryan Jones (Ospreys).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Paul James (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), James Hook (Perpignan), Scott Williams (Scarlets).

Referee: Craig Joubert (SARU).

Assistants: Jaco Peyper (SARU), Jonathon White (NZRU).

TMO: Vinny Munro (NZRU).