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Australia v Wales: Teams
At Allianz Stadium, Saturday June 23, live on Sky Sports 1HD from 5.30am
Caretaker-coach Rob Howley believes Wales need to improve their ball retention if they are to claim a pride-salvaging win in the third Test against Australia.
The RBS Six Nations Grand Slam winners have been edged out by the Wallabies in the two previous encounters on the current tour, going down in in heart-breaking fashion last weekend in Melbourne.
Wales led for 71 of the 80 minutes in the second Test, yet still lost the game when Mike Harris kicked a penalty in added time to make it 25-23.
But Australia had enjoyed almost 70 per cent possession and, as Howley admitted, the pressure told in the end.
"When you play against southern hemisphere sides, and Australia in particular, possession statistics are vital. If you are defending for 70 per cent of the game it takes its toll," Howley said.
"We need to remain composed and accurate at line-out time because then the possession stats change. We lost four line-outs in Melbourne and we need to be more clinical in that area."
Howley has named and unchanged starting XV for the contest, keeping faith with the line-up that came so close to becoming the first Wales side to beat Australia on their own soil since 1969.
Howley does make a lone change on the bench, with Ken Owens, who started the first Test in Brisbane, coming in to replace Richard Hibbard.
Australia coach Robbie Deans has recalled Kurtley Beale to his starting line-up for the clash, the first time the full-back has played for his country since suffering a hamstring strain in the third place play-off against Wales at the World Cup.
His return sees Adam Ashley-Cooper move to the right wing, while the only other change to the starting XV sees Sitaleki Timani come in at lock in place of the benched Rob Simmons.
Cooper Vuna has been axed to accommodate Beale's return, while the decision to opt for five forwards on the bench sees Harris, the hero in Melbourne, also drop out of the 22.
Fitness doubts over in-form prop Sekope Kepu have been allayed after he completed the captain's run on Friday. Kepu has been battling a virus and had to be isolated from the main group on Thursday.
Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Will Genia; 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani; 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Michael Hooper, 21 Nic White, 22 Anthony Fainga'a
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 1 Gethin Jenkins, 2 Matthew Rees, 3 Adam Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 6 Dan Lydiate, 7 Sam Warburton (capt), 8 Ryan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Luke Charteris, 19 Justin Tipuric, 20 Rhys Webb, 21 James Hook, 22 Scott Williams
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