Ospreys pair in line for Wales debuts

Sam Cross and Owen Watkin have been named on the bench for Wales’ clash with Australia at Principality Stadium on Saturday and will win their first caps if they come on.

The team will be led by Ospreys skipper Alun Wyn Jones, who has been named as captain, while Dan Biggar also starts with Nicky Smith among the replacements alongside Cross and Watkin.

Jones is one of seven returning British & Irish Lions to line-up in the starting XV for the clash against the Wallabies, alongside Biggar, Ken Owens, Taulupe Faletau, Jonathan Davies, Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny.

A limited number of tickets for this game, priced at £60,  are available to buy on a first come, first served basis, from www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets

Three players will make their home debut at Principality Stadium, Owen Williams and Steff Evans in the backline and flanker Josh Navidi.

Captain Jones will pack down alongside Jake Ball in the second-row, behind a front-row of Rob Evans, Owens and Tomas Francis.

Aaron Shingler and Navidi - who both featured in the two Test victories over Tonga and Samoa in the summer - start in the back-row alongside Faletau.

Gareth Davies partners Biggar at halfback with Williams named at inside centre alongside Davies.

Evans, who scored two tries for Wales in his last outing against Samoa, is part of a back-three alongside Williams and full-back Halfpenny.

Three uncapped players have been named on the bench: Dragons prop Leon Brown and the Ospreys duo of Cross and Watkin.  Kristian Dacey and Nicky Smith make up the front-row replacements alongside Brown with Cory Hill completing the forward contingent.  Aled Davies and Hallam Amos join Watkin as the backline replacements.

“We are really looking forward to Saturday and getting the Under Armour Series underway,” said Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland.

“I’m delighted for Steff Evans, Owen Williams and Josh Navidi that they get their first start at home, the atmosphere will be fantastic and it’s a great opportunity for them.

“It’s going to be a tough first up game, we know that and we need to be up and running.  We have a squad that’s packed with talent and is on form and we are excited to see what they can do.”


WALES TEAM TO PLAY AUSTRALIA (Saturday November 11, KO 5.15pm)

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (71 Caps)

14. Liam Williams (Saracens) (43 Caps)

13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (64 Caps)

12. Owen Williams (Gloucester) (1 Cap)

11. Steff Evans (Scarlets) (2 Caps)

10. Dan Biggar (Ospreys) (56 Caps)

9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (26 Caps)

1. Rob Evans (Scarlets) (17 Caps)

2. Ken Owens (Scarlets) (50 Caps)

3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (23 Caps)

4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (26 Caps)

5. Alun Wyn Jones (CAPT) (Ospreys) (110 Caps)

6. Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (10 Caps)

7. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (3 Caps)

8. Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (66 Caps)



16. Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues) (4 Caps)

17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (14 Caps)

18. Leon Brown (Dragons) (*UNCAPPED)

19. Cory Hill (Dragons) (6 Caps)

20. Sam Cross (Ospreys) (*UNCAPPED)

21. Aled Davies (Scarlets) (2 Caps)

22. Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (*UNCAPPED)

23. Hallam Amos (Dragons) (11 Caps)