The Wallabies begin their spring tour of Great Britain with a test against Wales at Millennium Stadium on Sunday morning.
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Ross Moriarty, Justin Tipuric, Dan Lydiate, Luke Chateris, Bradley Davies, Samson Lee, Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins.
Australia: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Reece Hodge, Henry Speight, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; Lopeti Timani, Michael Hooper, David Pocock, Adam Coleman, Rory Arnold, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio.
There have been 39 tests played between these two nations with Australia holding a clear advantage having won 28 to the Welsh’s 10 victories, while one game has been drawn. Australia has won the last 11 straight games against Wales, with the last game resulting in a 15-6 Wallabies win. Wales last beat Australia in 2008.
Australia has had a rough time on the international Rugby Union stage in the last 12 months, winning just 3 of their 11 games since the World Cup Final last year. Half of those losses have all been against the All Blacks, while they also lost all three tests against England in June. They beat South Africa in Brisbane and Argentina in Perth before losing to the Springboks in Pretoria last month. They beat Argentina in London a week later before succumbing to a fast finishing All-Blacks side a fortnight ago.
Wales had a strong 2015 where they won 9 of their 13 Tests. They started 2016 in a similar vein of form, winning three of four games after a 16 all draw with Ireland to start the year. They lost two games against England before they came up against the All Blacks, who never looked troubled by the Welsh, as they won three tests to nil.
Folau v Halfpenny – Both sides are reasonably matched across the field, but both sides have very different styles of fullback. Folau is a strong ball runner, courtesy of his time in Rugby League, while Halfpenny is more your traditional fullback with a strong kicking game. Both will be vital to providing good field position and attacking options.
Australia should be able to come away with a win and will go into the match as slight favourites courtesy of their long winning record over the Welsh. But the Welsh side appear to be a more cohesive unit and are well and truly capable of pulling off a win on their home soil.