Autumn Nations Series: Alun Wyn Jones returns for Wales as Joe Hawkins handed debut against Australia
Wales close out their autumn campaign with a match against Australia in Cardiff on Saturday (kick-off 3.15pm); the hosts have won their last three matches against the Wallabies and are aiming to bounce back from a shock defeat to Georgia
Last Updated: 24/11/22 1:00pm
Ospreys centre Joe Hawkins will make his Wales debut and lock Alun Wyn Jones has been recalled to the starting line-up for Saturday's Autumn Nations Series finale against Australia.
Hawkins, 20, steps in for Owen Watkin, who suffered a knee injury during last Saturday's humiliating home defeat against Georgia.
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World record cap holder and former Wales skipper Jones, meanwhile, replaces Ben Carter for a first international start since last season's Six Nations Championship.
Elsewhere, full-back Leigh Halfpenny returns following a 16-month injury absence from the Wales team, and Gareth Anscombe features at fly-half.
Other changes see wing Rio Dyer back in action - Josh Adams drops to the replacements' bench - and number eight Taulupe Faletau packing down for his 100th Wales and British and Irish Lions Test match appearance.
Wales are chasing a fourth successive victory over the Wallabies, but head coach Wayne Pivac has overseen just three wins from 11 starts this year.
Pivac goes into the Principality Stadium clash under huge pressure following Georgia's 13-12 success, which was Wales' 19th defeat in his 33 Tests at the helm.
And with Saturday's game falling outside World Rugby's autumn window, players like Gloucester back Louis Rees-Zammit, Saracens centre Nick Tompkins and Exeter forward Christ Tshiunza are unavailable because they have not been released by their clubs for those fixtures.
Whether Welsh Rugby Union chiefs decide on a change of head coach just 10 months out from the next World Cup remains to be seen, but there can be little doubt that Pivac's job is now on the line.
Ahead of the clash, Pivac admitted the whole squad was "disappointed" after their performance against Georgia but believes they know how to remedy it this weekend.
"The whole squad is extremely disappointed with last week's performance," said Pivac.
"It's not the result that anybody wanted. It's not the result that anyone expected. We've gone through a review process. We know what went wrong and what is required to get the result this weekend.
"There's been an injury to Owen Watkin which gives an opportunity to young Joe Hawkins. He's obviously very excited. He's been in camp training for the last month and learning a lot and he's looked good in training, so he gets an opportunity.
"Some players have come back that were not involved last week. Certainly, it's a side we've selected to get a result which we're desperately seeking. They've gelled well at the start of the week, and we look forward to seeing how we go.
"Clearly this will be a step up - we're playing an Australian side that will have a lot of changes for probably similar reasons to ourselves over the last month or so with injuries, but what we do know about Australia is that they're a dangerous side whatever team they put out.
"We've seen that with the close games in this autumn series. So we're expecting a very, very tough battle."
Wales squad vs Australia
Wales: 15. Leigh Halfpenny, 14. Alex Cuthbert, 13. George North, 12. Joe Hawkins, 11. Rio Dyer, 10. Gareth Anscombe, 9. Tomos Williams, 1. Gareth Thomas, 2. Ken Owens, 3. Dillon Lewis, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 6. Jac Morgan, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Taulupe Faletau
Replacements: 16. Ryan Elias, 17. Rhodri Jones, 18. Tomas Francis, 19. Ben Carter, 20. Josh Macleod, 21. Kieran Hardy, 22. Rhys Priestland, 23. Josh Adams
Wallabies make seven changes for Wales clash
Playmaker Ben Donaldson will start at fly-half for the first time for Australia against Wales, with seven changes being made to the starting line-up.
Donaldson will partner with club captain Jake Gordon who starts at scrumhalf for the side's final Test of 2022.
A new-look backrow sees Langi Gleeson also earn his first Test start at number eight in place of the injured Rob Valetini, while Fraser McReight comes in for Michael Hooper at openside flanker, with Jed Holloway rounding out the loose forward trio at blindside flanker.
James Slipper will lead the side as loosehead prop in his 127th appearance for his country, partnering with Folau Fainga'a and Allan Alaalatoa in the front row.
Nick Frost starts at lock alongside workhorse Cadeyrn Neville for the fourth time this year, with Reece Hodge starting at inside centre for the first time since 2016.
Jordan Petaia earns a start on the right wing, linking with Tom Wright who is selected at full-back, while Mark Nawaqanitawase completes the back three on the left edge.
Ned Hanigan, Tate McDermitt, and Pete Samu also return to the squad.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: "Ben has had a great year. He's been impressive at training around his skillset and detail and has earned his opportunity to start for his country this week.
"It's a special occasion for Sam and his family. Over the past five weeks, he's impressed us with his diligence and work ethic and deserves the chance to debut on Saturday.
"We're well aware of a Wales side that will be looking to respond after last week but we're equally as motivated to finish our season on a positive note here in Cardiff."
Wallabies squad vs Wales
South Africa 1. James Slipper (c), 2. Folau Fainga'a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 4. Nick Frost, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Jed Holloway, 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Langi Gleeson, 9. Jake Gordon,10. Ben Donaldson, 11. Mark Nawaqanitawase,12. Reece Hodge,13. Len Ikitau,14. Jordan Petaia, 15. Tom Wright
Replacements: 16. Lachlan Lonergan,17. Tom Robertson,18. Sam Talakai, 19. Ned Hanigan, 20. Pete Samu, 21. Tate McDermott, 22. Noah Lolesio, 23. Jock Campbell