Francis to face the Wallabies

francis wales jmp.jpg
Exeter Chiefs prop Tomas Francis is one of three changes Wales have made to their starting line-up to face Australia in Cardiff on Saturday. Picture: Ryan Hiscott/

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs prop Tomas Francis is poised to win his 34th cap for Wales after he was today named in their starting XV to face Australia at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

The talented tight-head is one of three changes head coach Warren Gatland has made from the side that beat Scotland in Wales' opening Under Armour Series clash.

Gatland has rewarded players for their summer tour performances in his selection with Worcester's Josh Adams and lock Adam Beard also brought in from the outset against the Wallabies.

Adams features in the back-three alongside Leigh Halfpenny and George North with Scarlets duo Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies named in midfield. Gareth Anscombe and Gareth Davies continue their partnership at half-back.

In the pack Francis comes into the front-row alongside Nicky Smith and Elliot Dee. Beard, who started both tests against Argentina in the summer, packs down alongside captain Alun Wyn Jones, while the back-row of Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty remains unchanged from the opening encounter.

Wales extended their unbeaten run to six matches with victory over Scotland and Gatland is challenging his players to make it seven on Saturday.

"We were pleased to get a good opening win under our belts last weekend and this Saturday is all about building on that," said Gatland. "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. There is a really good balance to the team, a lot of competition which is exactly what we wanted. The bench is packed with quality and experience and it will be great to see them have an impact on Saturday."

Wales' experienced replacements bench features Elliot Dee, Rob Evans and Dillon Lewis as the front-row replacements with summer tour co-captains Cory Hill and Ellis Jenkins completing the forward contingent. Tomos Williams and British & Irish Lions duo Dan Biggar and Liam Williams provide the backline cover.

WALES SQUAD TO PLAY AUSTRALIA (Saturday November 10 KO 17.20)

15. Leigh Halfpenny (79 Caps)
14. George North (77 Caps)
13. Jonathan Davies (66 Caps)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (9 Caps)
11. Josh Adams (4 Caps)
10. Gareth Anscombe (19 Caps)
9. Gareth Davies (34 Caps)
1. Nicky Smith (22 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (58 Caps)
3. Tomas Francis (33 Caps)
4. Adam Beard (5 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (118 Caps, capt) 
6. Dan Lydiate (63 Caps)
7. Justin Tipuric (58 Caps)
8. Ross Moriarty (24 Caps)


16. Elliot Dee (11 Caps)
17. Rob Evans (28 Caps)
18. Dillon Lewis (6 Caps)
19. Cory Hill (19 Caps)
20. Ellis Jenkins (8 Caps)
21. Tomos Williams (3 Caps)
22. Dan Biggar (62 Caps)
23. Liam Williams (48 Caps)?

Sign up to the Chiefs Newsletter

To receive a copy of the Exeter Chiefs Newsletter, please enter your email address below. You will then receive an email to confirm that you wish to receive it. You can unsubscribe at any time simply by following the link at the bottom of the email.