Alun Wyn Jones to become Wales’ most-capped player as he prepares to make 130th appearance in crunch World Cup clash against Australia
- Alun Wyn Jones will become Wales’ most-capped player against Australia
- He will win his 130th cap, breaking the previous record held by Gethin Jenkins
- Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named an unchanged team for the game
Alun Wyn Jones will become Wales’ most-capped player when he leads his country against World Cup rivals Australia on Sunday.
The Wales skipper wins his 130th cap, breaking the previous record held by prop Gethin Jenkins.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named an unchanged team for the Pool D showdown in Tokyo, retaining the side that started a 43-14 victory over Georgia four days ago.
Alun Wyn Jones will become Wales’ most-capped player when he leads them against Australia
There is one switch among the replacements, with Ospreys centre Owen Watkin taking over from Leigh Halfpenny.
Centre Hadleigh Parkes and hooker Ken Owens, who both suffered knocks during the Georgia game, are among a starting XV featuring nine survivors from Wales’ narrow win against Australia last November.
There are also further opportunities for prop Wyn Jones and flanker Aaron Wainwright after they made their World Cup debuts in the Georgia game.
And flanker Aaron Shingler will again provide second-row bench cover for starting locks Jake Ball and Alun Wyn Jones.
The Wales skipper will win his 130th cap, breaking the record held by prop Gethin Jenkins
Victory for Wales would put them in pole position to win their group and set up a potential quarter-final against France or Argentina.
But if the Wallabies claim a 14th win from the last 15 starts against Wales, then Gatland’s men could find themselves hurtling towards a last-eight appointment with England.
Wales have not claimed a World Cup success against Australia since 1987, when they won a third place play-off encounter 22-21 in Rotorua, New Zealand.
Australia, meanwhile, opened their current World Cup campaign by beating Fiji, but wing Reece Hodge was cited for a dangerous tackle and banned following that game and he will miss the Wales clash.