Wales bring James Botham, Cameron Winnett into line-up for second Australia Test in Melbourne

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Wales have been forced into four changes, two of them positional, for the
second Test against Australia in Melbourne on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

Wales are looking to bounce back from a 25-16 defeat to Australia in the first match of the series last weekend.

Two of the changes come in the back row, where Taine Plumtree moves to No 8 with Aaron Wainwright ruled out of the remainder of the tour by a hamstring injury.

James Botham comes into the starting line-up at blindside flanker.

Cameron Winnett also comes into the side at full-back with Liam Williams moving to the wing, replacing Josh Hathaway who is out with an elbow injury.

Mackenzie Martin takes Botham’s place on the replacement bench.

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Tom Wright ghosted through the Wales defence to dive over untouched after running the ball back from his own half.

Coach Warren Gatland said he expects an even tougher examination from the hosts after going down in the opening Test in Sydney.

“We’ve been going through our processes, building on what worked well and sharpening the areas that need improvement,” he said.

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Australia’s Taniela Tupou burrowed over from close range to get the first try of the game against Wales.

“We expect Australia to go up another level this weekend and we know we need to as well.

“We want to start well and make sure we are disciplined and accurate from the off. Then it’s about keeping in the arm-wrestle for the duration.”

After losing the opening Test, Wales will look to hit back at Melbourne’s AAMI Park in the second and final clash of their tour, live on Sky Sports on Saturday morning.

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Filipo Daugunu shot through a gap to go all the way for a try that has given Australia the lead.

Wales: 15 Tom Wright, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Jake Gordon, 1 James Slipper (c), 2 Matt Faessler, 3 Taniela Tupou, 4 Jeremy Williams, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6 Rob Valetini, 7 Fraser McReight, 8 Charlie Cale

Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Isaac Kailea, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Langi Gleeson, 21 Nic White, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Dylan Pietsch.

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Australia’s Taniela Tupou burrowed over from close range to get the first try of the game against Wales.

Captain Wright ruled out for Australia as Schmidt shuffles pack

Australia, meanwhile, are forced in to changes of their own after captain Liam Wright was ruled out through injury.

Charlie Cale makes his Wallabies debut at number eight, with prop James Slipper taking over the captaincy.

Cale’s inclusion pushes Rob Valetini to blindside flanker. There are three changes on the bench.

“We found out a bit about ourselves last week,” said Australia head coach Joe Schmidt. “We’ve worked hard again this week in Melbourne and will be going out to earn the support of those in the stands and those at home on Saturday night.”

Australia: 15. Tom Wright, 14. Andrew Kellaway, 13. Josh Flook, 12. Hunter Paisami, 11. Filipo Daugunu, 10. Noah Lolesio, 9. Jake Gordon; 1. James Slipper (c), 2. Matt Faessler, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Jeremy Williams, 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Charlie Cale,

Replacements: 16. Josh Nasser, 17. Isaac Kailea, 18. Allan Alaalatoa, 19. Angus Blyth, 20. Langi Gleeson, 21. Nic White, 22. Ben Donaldson, 23. Dylan Pietsch.

Wales play Australia in the final Test of the series on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Action from 10.30am (10.45am kick-off) – with England vs New Zealand live on the same channel just prior. Stream rugby’s summer internationals in 2024 and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership. No contract, cancel anytime.

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