Australia Hopes For Nine Lives Against Wales

Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au/Getty Images
Israel Folau has been in stunning form on the Spring Tour. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au/Getty Images

Australia has won eight straight Tests against Wales and 11 of the last 12, but it has been anything but a dominating run of wins.  The last three victories have come by a combined total of five points, and last year the Wallabies snuck home 14-12 thanks to a last-minute Kurtley Beale try.  A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then with the likes of Beale and James O’Connor not part of the green and gold’s setup on this Spring Tour, while Ewen McKenzie has taken the reins from Robbie Deans.  The New Zealander lost his job after current Welsh coach, Warren Gatland, masterminder the British and Irish Lions series win in Australia earlier this year.

 

The Red Dragons’ best results against Australia have undoubtedly come at Millenium Stadium, the venue for Sunday morning’s (AEST) match.  The last eight contests have seen the home side come away with two wins and a draw.  They have been ok during the Northern Hemisphere internationals; they lost to South Africa first-up 24-15 but since then thumped Argentina 40-6 before a 17-7 win in a stop-start affair against Tonga last week.

 

McKenzie has made a handful of changes to the team that held on for a 21-15 win over Scotland last week.  Adam Ashley-Cooper and Nick Cummins - who both missed last week’s victory after receiving one-match suspensions for a late night out in Dublin earlier on the tour –come back in to the starting XV, while Tatafu Polota-Nau and Benn Robinson are back on the bench.  With Wales using lineouts as a starting point in attack of late, jumpers Dave Dennis and Kane Douglas are amongst the replacements with aggressive scrummager Sitaleki Timani missing out.

 

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