Tshiunza named on the Welsh bench
By Mark Stevens
Just days after making his Test debut for Wales against Fiji, Exeter Chiefs forward Christ Tshiunza could be set to add to his international tally after he was named on the bench for Saturday’s clash with Australia in Cardiff.
In what has already been a season to remember for Tshiunza, the 19-year-old will be looking to build on his impressive cameo last weekend with another big display against the Wallabies.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has made a number of changes, including welcoming back former Chief Tomas Francis, as well as wing Josh Adams and back-row forward Aaron Wainwright.
British and Irish Lion Adams had been set to face Fiji at centre last week but pulled out late with a calf strain.Prop Wyn Jones returns, while Seb Davies starts at lock, Tomos Williams at scrum-half and Willis Halaholo at centre
“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.”
Meanwhile, former Exeter Chiefs scrum-half Nic White will start for Australia, who have lost to Scotland (15-13) and England (32-15) over the past two weekends.
WALES TEAM TO FACE AUSTRALIA
15 Liam Williams (Scarlets)
14 Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby)
13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
12 Uilisi Halaholo (Cardiff Rugby)
11 Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby)
10 Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints)
9 Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby)
1 Wyn Jones (Scarlets)
2 Ryan Elias (Scarlets)
3 Tomas Francis (Ospreys)
4 Adam Beard (Ospreys)
5 Seb Davies (Cardiff Rugby)
6 Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Rugby, capt)
7 Taine Basham (Dragons)
8 Aaron Wainwright (Dragons)
16 Elliot Dee (Dragons)
17 Gareth Thomas (Ospreys)
18 Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby)
19 Ben Carter (Dragons)
20 Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs)
21 Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
22 Rhys Priestland (Cardiff Rugby)
23 Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets)