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James starts against Wallabies

4 November 2014

Bath Rugby prop Paul James has been selected to start at loosehead for Wales against Australia on Saturday (k.o. 14:30), having impressed Warren Gatland with his form this season. 

Wales welcome back four players who missed the tour to South Africa for their opening match of the series, with captain Sam Warburton, Leigh Halfpenny, Rhys Webb and Richard Hibbard all returning from injury to take their place in the starting XV.

Halfpenny returns to the Wales team after missing the last three tests through injury and lines-up in a back-three alongside Alex Cuthbert and Liam Williams. 

The centre partnership comprises of Jamie Roberts and George North, the same centre pairing that faced France at the Millennium Stadium in the Six Nations.
Ospreys half-back pair of Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar start at nine and ten respectively.

In the front-row, James, who has featured in every game for Wales this calendar year, starts at loosehead alongside the returning Richard Hibbard and Scarlets tight-head Samson Lee.

Jake Ball packs down alongside Alun Wyn Jones in the second-row, whilst the back-row features British and Irish Lions trio Dan Lydiate, captain Sam Warburton and Number 8 Taulupe Faletau.

Wales' last eight matches against the Wallabies have ended in single-figure defeats but head coach Warren Gatland is hopeful that run can be ended.
 
Gatland commented: "We have spoke a lot about this autumn and the year ahead and we are really excited to kick off the campaign this weekend [...] Paul James and Jake Ball have impressed so they get the nod to start. The last few outings against Australia have been extremely tight, we are expecting the same this weekend and it's going to be another huge battle but it's a challenge we are really looking forward to.”

WALES TEAM TO PLAY AUSTRALIA:

Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath Rugby), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Unattached), Sam Warburton (Capt), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (London Wasps), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues).

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