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Australia v Wales: Warren Gatland adds Botham and Winnett to squad

The defeat in Sydney was Wales’ eighth consecutive international defeat, leaving them without a Test match since beating 2023 World Cup group stage opponents Georgia last October.

Wales also dropped to 11th in the world rankings, their lowest position in their history.

Another defeat against Australia will leave Wales one game away from their worst Test series since a 10-match run under New Zealander Steve Hansen in 2002-03.

Gatland has a 30% success rate in his second spell as Wales manager, with six wins and 14 defeats in 20 international matches since taking over from Wayne Pivac ahead of the 2023 Six Nations Championship.

“We’re looking forward to getting back on the field in Melbourne this weekend,” Gatland said.

“This week we reviewed our processes, improving what was working well and clarifying areas for improvement.

“We expect Australia to step up this weekend and we know we need to do that too.

“We want to start well and make sure we are disciplined and accurate from the start.

“Then you have to keep arm wrestling for the duration.”

Wales v Australia: Cameron Winnett; Liam Williams, Owen Watkin, Mason Grady, Rio Dyer; Ben Thomas, Ellis Bevan; Gareth Thomas, Dewi Lake (captain), Archie Griffin, Christ Tshiunza, Dafydd Jenkins, James Botham, Tommy Reffell, Taine Plumtree.

Backups: Evan Lloyd, Kemsley Mathias, Harri O’Connor, Cory Hill, Mackenzie Martin, Kieran Hardy, Sam Costelow, Nick Tompkins.