Wales v Australia: Gatland 'hopeful' centre Williams will be fit

Wales centre Scott Williams
Wales centre Scott Williams

Wales are hopeful centre Scott Williams will be fit for next Saturday's clash against Australia.

Williams missed the 17-7 victory over Tonga on Friday night as he continued his recovery from a toe injury.

Wales are already without injured midfield trio Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts and Cory Allen to face the Wallabies.

"Hopefully, Scott Williams will be available for next week," said Wales coach Warren Gatland.

The Six Nations champions are looking for their first win against Australia since 2008.

Centres Owen Williams, who made his debut on the summer tour of Japan, and Ashley Beck, who won his seventh cap on Friday, both scored tries against Tonga as they teamed up in midfield for the first time.

They appear to be vying for a single place alongside the more experienced Scott Williams, who has featured in 22 Tests, against the Wallabies.

"The two guys (Owen Williams and Beck) both scored tries and it was the first time they had played together as a combination," said Gatland.

"When you throw them in for the first time against a lot of seasoned internationals, we expect a lot from them.

"I think we are pretty happy with how they performed. They will be critical of their own performances, and that is what we expect from them."

Wales endured a scoreless second period at the Millennium Stadium, and they did not score another point after full-back Leigh Halfpenny converted Beck's 25th-minute try.

Gatland also confirmed Newport Gwent Dragons forward Andrew Coombs should be fine to meet Australia, having been a late withdrawal from the side to face Tonga with a back problem.

Captain Ryan Jones admitted the performance against Tonga had been frustrating and said Wales had to improve for the visit of Australia.

"We need to be more accurate," said Jones. "Scoring opportunities need to become tries; the best teams in the world are clinical when they are presented with opportunities.

"We will see the introduction of guys who have had a week off, so they should be fresh.

"It bodes well and we have a bigger pool of players to pick from now."

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