Wales v Australia in Auckland (World Cup, 3rd-4th Playoff)
Venue: Eden Park
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
The most significant aspect of this encounter is that nobody is really all that interested. There is no logical explanation for this match. Nothing is hinging on it apart from national pride.
The rubber is dead for these two teams, both defeated last weekend and knocked out of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Players from both sides are exhausted physically and mentally not particularly motivated.
Nathan Sharp will be playing his 100th test match for Australia.
Reason enough to pay some respects for this encounter.
Image thanks to aru.rugby.com.au
Both teams have made changes from the starting lineup from last weekend. The winner will be the team most motivated and physically up to the challenge of another test match.
Last Five Encounters
06.11.2010 Australia 25-16 in Cardiff
28.11.2009 Australia 33-12 in Cardiff
29.11.2008 Wales 21-18 in Cardiff
15.09.2007 Australia 32-20 in Cardiff (World Cup, Pool B)
02.06.2007 Australia 31-0 in Brisbane
Wales This World Cup
11.09.2011 v South Africa L 16-17 in Wellington
18.09.2011 v Samoa W 17-10 in Hamilton
26.09.2011 v Namibia W 81-7 in New Plymouth
02.10.2011 v Fiji W 66-0 in Hamilton
08.10.2011 v Ireland W 22-10 in Wellington (QF)
15.10.2011 v France L 8-9 in Auckland (SF)
Australia This World Cup
11.09.2011 v Italy W 32-6 in Albany
17.09.2011 v Ireland L 6-15 in Auckland
23.09.2011 v USA W 67-5 in Wellington
01.10.2011 v Russia W 68-22 in Nelson
09.10.2011 v South Africa W 11-9 in Wellington (QF)
16.10.2011 v New Zealand L 6-20 in Auckland (SF)
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Australia 2nd, Wales 5th
IRB Ranking Points
Australia 86.49, Wales 81.10
Prediction: Australia by 6 points
15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 James Roberts, 11 Shane Williams, 10 James Hook, 9 Michael Phillips, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Tobias Faletau,
6 Daniel Lydiate, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Paul James, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Gethin Jenkins. Capt.
16 Lloyd Burns, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Alun Wyn Jones, 19 Andrew Powell, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 Stephen Jones, 22 Scott Williams.
Head Coach: Warren Gatland
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 William Genia, 8 Benjamin McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 James Horwill, Capt, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 James Slipper.
16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Benjamin Alexander, 18 Robert Simmons, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Anthony Faingaa, 22 Robert Horne.
Head Coach: Robbie Deans