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George North making light work of an Israel Folau tackle in the second Lions Test last year.
George North making light work of an Israel Folau tackle in the second Lions Test last year.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Wales bump George North in to the centre for Australia Test

With Jonathan Davies injured, North will run from 13 outside of Jamie Roberts.
Nov 4th 2014, 1:04 PM 4,198 5

GEORGE NORTH WILL start at centre when Wales face Australia in the first of their November internationals at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

The dynamic Northampton wing was named at outside centre by Warren Gatland today after injuries deprived him of regular midfield backs Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams.

Now North will partner fellow Lion Jamie Roberts in midfield, with his usual left wing berth taken by Scarlets’ Liam Williams.

At scrum-half, Kiwi boss Gatland has chosen Rhys Webb ahead of Mike Phillips.

In the pack, Dan Lydiate has been selected at blindside flanker despite a lack of match time with French club Racing Metro this season, with Jake Ball starting alongside Alun Wyn Jones in the second row and Paul James selected ahead of veteran prop Gethin Jenkins.

Saturday’s match will be a dress rehearsal for the pool clash between the sides in next year’s ‘group of death’ at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

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That will make Wales even more determined to end their dire run of nine straight defeats by the Wallabies this weekend, albeit the last eight of those reverses have been by single-point margins.

Wales (v Australia): Leigh Halfpenny;, Alex Cuthbert, George North, Jamie Roberts, Liam Williams; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb: Paul James, Richard Hibbard, Samson Lee; Alun Wyn Jones, Jake Ball; Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (capt), Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Gethin Jenkins, Rhodri Jones, Bradley Davies, Justin Tipuric, Mike Phillips, Rhys Priestland, Cory Allen.

- © AFP, 2014

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