Josh Adams fit to start for Wales against Australia

Date published: November 18 2021 - News Desk

Wales have been boosted by the return to fitness of Josh Adams for their Autumn Nations Series clash with Australia at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Adams is named in the starting line-up for their final international of the year after pulling out with a calf injury ahead of kick-off last week against Fiji.

He is joined in the back three by try-scoring speedster Louis Rees-Zammit and player of the match against Fiji, full-back Liam Williams, in an exciting trio.

Uilisi Halaholo starts in midfield

Uilisi Halaholo and Nick Tompkins, both late replacements to the bench and starting line-up respectively last weekend, get the nod as the centre partnership.

Dan Biggar remains in the fly-half position for Saturday’s clash, with Cardiff Rugby’s Tomos Williams returning to the starting scrum-half berth on Saturday.

Hooker Ryan Elias remains the only constant in the front-row with props Wyn Jones and Tomas Francis returning to the starting XV. Elias is one of only three players to start all four of Wales’ Autumn Nations Series Tests, alongside Adam Beard and Taine Basham.

Seb Davies gets his first start of the campaign as he partners Beard in the second-row, while Ellis Jenkins will lead the side from the blindside flank with Basham returning to the openside as Aaron Wainwright returns to the number eight position, having missed out on last weekend’s fixture due to injury.

“It’s been a tough campaign but one where we’ve exposed more players to this level of rugby, which all bodes well for the future. With the injuries we’ve faced, we have had to adapt and those are opportunities that some of the players have taken very well,” said Pivac as he reflected on the Autumn Nations Series so far.

Looking ahead to the final game of the campaign he went on to say: “Australia have been on the road for a while now, the series they had down south and a couple of losses in the last couple of games. They’ll be hurting from that and they’ll want to finish their tour on a high note, as we’d like to finish our campaign on a high note. It bodes well for a pretty interesting fixture.

“Dave Rennie brings a physical approach to the game and we certainly expect that from the Australians but we have to be able to match that and impose ourselves on the game. It’s going to be an enthralling encounter I think and a great way to finish a series. We’re really looking forward to Saturday.

“This week I’d encourage [the crowd] to be even louder, and noisier, and back the boys. They’ve worked really hard so to have that 16th man, if you like, really pushing and driving the team on, we’d really, really appreciate that.”

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Uilisi Halaholo, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Taine Basham, 6 Ellis Jenkins (c), 5 Seb Davies, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Ben Carter, 20 Christ Tshiunza, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Johnny McNicholl

Date: Saturday, November 20
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)