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Rugby | International Rugby

Anscombe stays at flyhalf as Gatland makes three changes



Wales coach Warren Gatland made three changes but retained Gareth Anscombe at flyhalf in the hope that his side will finally end a 13-test losing streak against Australia on Saturday.

With the showdown being considered as a dress rehearsal before the two teams meet again during the group of stage of next year's World Cup in Japan, Gatland kept faith with Anscombe, who will continue his half-back pairing with Gareth Davies, after he impressed in the 21-10 victory over Scotland last weekend.

The more experienced Dan Biggar will start on the bench at the Millennium Stadium

Lock Adam Beard comes into the second row to partner captain Alun Wyn Jones, while Tomas Francis takes over from Dillon Lewis at prop.

Josh Adams has been selected on the wing instead of Luke Morgan, who made his debut against the Scots.

"We were pleased to get a good opening win under our belts last weekend and this Saturday is all about building on that," Gatland said.

"With selection we wanted some continuity and to be consistent but also mindful there are a number of players who did really well for us in the summer and they need to be rewarded and have their opportunity.

"Adam (Beard) impressed in the summer as did Josh (Adams) and they deserve the chance to start."

With the two teams drawn in Pool D at next year's World Cup, Gatland hopes the mix in his side will be able to challenge Australia.

"There is a really good balance to the team, a lot of competition which is exactly what we wanted," Gatland added.

"The bench is packed with quality and experience and it will be great to see them have an impact on Saturday."

Wales are seeking a seventh test win in a row, something they have not achieved since they went on an eight-game winning streak between 2004 and 2005.

But they will be wary of the dismal record they have against Australia during Gatland’s 12-year tenure. Australia have won the last 13 clashes between the sides dating back to 2008.

Team: 15-Leigh Halfpenny, 14-George North, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Hadleigh Parkes, 11-Josh Adams, 10-Gareth Anscombe, 9-Gareth Davies, 8-Ross Moriarty, 7-Justin Tipuric, 6-Dan Lydiate, 5-Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4-Adam Beard, 3-Tomas Francis, 2-Ken Owens, 1-Nicky Smith

Replacements: 16-Elliot Dee, 17-Rob Evans, 18-Dillon Lewis, 19-Cory Hill, 20-Ellis Jenkins, 21-Tomos Williams, 22-Dan Biggar, 23-Liam Williams.



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