The penultimate game of the Autumn Nations Series 2022 takes place at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium between two sides who are in poor form.
The year-end matches between Wales and Australia are usually must-sees, regardless of recent results, but whoever loses that clash will be looking down the barrel of a crucial pre-season in 2023 with Rugby World Cup France drawing closer.
Both sides’ autumn campaigns have seen them win just once each and both have recorded defeats against traditionally ‘smaller’ rugby nations for the first time in their history, with Wales beating Georgia at home last time out and Italy beating the Wallabies Florence in the week before.
🏴🇩🇪 Cymru v 🇦🇺 Avstralia
— Welsh Rugby union November 23, 2022
Wales’ autumn series began against New Zealand and whenever the All Blacks are in town it’s sure to be put to the test. So was Wayne Pivac’s side, who came back with 16 unanswered points from a 0-19 deficit with 16 unanswered points, but were put to the sword in the second half with 55-23 wins and eight tries in the process.
Wales bounced back the following week against Argentina, who themselves had beaten England that autumn, beating the Pumas 20-13.
Australia’s autumn got off to a good, albeit nervous, start. Bernard Foley’s 11 points from the tee gave them a narrow 16-15 win over Scotland at Murrayfield, but that’s the best the Tour has brought for the Wallabies.
Matches decided by a single point have become a recurring theme for Dave Rennie’s team: in the following games they lost to France 30-29 and lost to Italy for the first time in their history by 28-27. The Wallabies scored one last try in Florence but failed to make the crucial conversion that would have given them a one-point win, more so than the Azzurri.
After two agonizing defeats, the Wallabies made their way to Dublin last weekend where they put up a dour, few-goal match against the world’s best team, Ireland. Only three points were scored in the first half and although the pair traded attempts through Ireland’s Bundee Aki and Jordan Petaia towards the Wallabies towards the end of the second half, Ross Byrnes’ late penalty saw Ireland win the game and be in contention with 13-10 won won’t make it onto many highlight reels.
🎞️ Cardiff around ’99. #Flashback Friday
— Wallabies (@wallabies) November 25, 2022
For Wales, however, defeat by Georgia last weekend was even more devastating. Along with Wales, Georgia is one of only seven countries to have rugby union as a national sport and their 13-12 win at Cardiff only helped them close to great success, further arguing that they were transported into an expanded version of Europe should be included Six Nations Championship. Jac Morgan may have scored two tries in four first-half minutes for Wales but the Lelos came into their own from there as Sandro Todua’s attempt from a cross-field kick saw the hosts defeated while the Georgian players celebrating like they had won the World Cup.
MORE: Wales slammed by ex-England international after shock loss to Georgia
🏟 TO AR GAU! 🏟
That @fürstentumsta Roof will be closed this Saturday!
— Welsh Rugby union November 24, 2022
When is Wales vs Australia?
Wales host Australia at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday 26 November. The game starts at 15:15 GMT.
|United Kingdom||Australia||New Zealand||United States of America|
|date||Sat, Nov 26||Sun, Nov 27||Sun, Nov 27||Sat, Nov 26|
|time||15:15 GMT||02:15 AM EDT||04:15 NZDT||10:15 ET|
How to watch Wales vs Australia
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|TV channel||–||–||sky sport||–|
|electricity||Amazon Prime Video||Stan sports||Sky Sport website/app||FloSports|
UNITED KINGDOM: The test match is available to stream in the UK via the Amazon Prime Video subscription service.
Australia: All Autumn Nations Series games, as well as this test, will be streamed via Stan Sport in Australia.
New Zealand: Sky Sport is the place to watch the year-end internationals.
US: The subscription service FloSports has exclusive rights to the Autumn Nations Series with games available to stream online.
Lineups between Wales and Australia
The fall series can prove long and drawn out, especially for a side badly out of shape. Wales certainly fit that bill at the moment and have been forced to make several substitutions, calling up players with a range of experience. full-back Leigh Halfpenny is back in the starting XI as usual Alun Wyn Jones at the castle. Gareth Anscombewhose spot-on shot from the tee was so crucial against Argentina is also back in the No10 shirt, with another veteran Rhys Priestland being benched.
Pivac has brought several less experienced players on board in hopes of inspiring a rallying cry from Wales. Rio Dyer scored on his debut against the All Blacks and is back on the left wing to face the Wallabies. His inner center is the 20-year-old debutant Joe Hawkinswhile Jac Morganarguably the only Welshman to end the game against Georgia with his head held high retains his place on the blindside cross.
– Autumn Nations Series (@autumnnations) November 24, 2022
Wales XV: Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, George North, Joe Hawkins, Rio Dyer, Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams; Gareth Thomas, Ken Owens, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Jac Morgan, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau
Wales Substitute: Ryan Elias, Rhodri Jones, Tomas Francis, Ben Carter, Josh MacLeod, Kieran Hardy, Rhys Priestland, Josh Adams
🤕 Hoops is in test against this weekend @WelshRugbyUnion. He will return home on Thursday.
— Wallabies (@wallabies) November 23, 2022
This is Australia’s fifth and final game of their autumn series and that packed fixture list has taken its toll on the Wallabies, with another half-dozen players returning home injured from the game against Ireland alone. This has resulted in a massive reshuffle of their 23-man squad for this game, particularly in defence Tom Wright Switching from wing to full-back Mark Nawaqanitawase Swap wings and Jordan Petaia came free after replacing the injured Hunter Paisami after just four minutes in Dublin.
fly half Ben Donaldson came on for his Wallabies debut against Italy but that big moment should be forgotten as he missed out on the ensuing conversion Caderyn Neville‘s late attempt which would have won Australia the game. He is hoping for a better result for his second international match, which he will win from the first whistle when he starts at 10am and will be partner in half-times Jake Gordonreplacing the shaken Nic White for the Wallabies’ final game of 2022.
Australia XV: Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia, Len Ikitau, Reece Hodge, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Ben Donaldson, Jake Gordon; James Slipper, Folau Fainga’a, Allan Alaalatoa, Nick Frost, Caderyn Neville, Jed Holloway, Fraser McReight, Langi Gleeson
Substitute for Australia: Lachlan Lonergan, Tom Robertson, Sam Talakai, Ned Hanigan, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Noah Lolesio, Jock Campbell
🇦🇺 Your team for the last time in 2022!
🗓 Sunday, November 27 at 2:15 a.m. AEDT
🏟 Princes Stadium, Cardiff
— Wallabies (@wallabies) November 24, 2022
MORE: All hope is not lost as Wallabies retire from 2022 Tour
Wales vs Australia Odds
It’s not unfair to say that these two sides are on a poor winning streak at the moment and bookmakers’ sentiment certainly reflects that. It’s close as always between Wales and Australia but Sky Bet, Ladbrokes and BetMGM all appear to be backing the hosts. At Sky Bet and BetMGM they are only 4/6 and 4/7 respectively, although the former is just behind Australia at 5/4.
|United Kingdom (Sky Bet)||Australia (Ladbrokes)||United States (BetMGM)|