Wales v Australia: Alex Cuthbert makes a surprise return to Wales team

The British and Irish Lions wing has missed the three Tests Wales have played so far

British and Irish Lions wing Alex Cuthbert has made a surprise return to the Wales team for Saturday's autumn international against Australia in Cardiff.

Cuthbert suffered an ankle injury during Cardiff Blues' Heineken Cup victory over holders Toulon last month and missed the opening three November Tests against South Africa, Argentina and Tonga.

But his record at the highest level as a proven tryscorer means he is rushed back for Saturday as Wales look to claim their first major southern hemisphere scalp since beating Australia five years ago.

Elsewhere flanker Dan Lydiate features in the back row with Justin Tipuric on the bench, while Dan Biggar wins Wales coach Warren Gatland's fly-half vote ahead of Rhys Priestland, who is among the replacements.

Cuthbert, who has scored nine tries in his 18 appearances for Wales, will line-up in an experienced back-three with George North (Northampton Saints) and Cardiff Blues' Leigh Halfpenny.

Scarlets centre Scott Williams has recovered from a toe injury and will line-up alongside Cardiff Blues centre Owen Williams, who scored on his first outing at the Millennium Stadium against Tonga last Friday.

Gethin Jenkins, who became a centurion on his last outing for Wales a fortnight ago, returns with Richard Hibbard to the front-row and Rhodri Jones will start his third consecutive game at tight-head.

British and Irish Lions duo Ian Evans and Alun Wyn Jones, who started all five of Wales' 2013 RBS 6 Nations games together, renew their partnership in the second-row.

"It's great to have Alex and Scott available and they bring a lot of experience into the backline," said Gatland.

"Alex and the medical teams have worked really hard to ensure he is ready for this weekend and it's great to be able to bring him back into the side.

"We thought Owen (Williams) performed well in the centre against Tonga and he gets another opportunity on Saturday.

"There is a lot of experience in the pack for what is going to be a very physical game. We are looking to finish the series off well. The last three games against Australia have gone right down to the wire and I don't expect anything different this weekend."

On the bench Scarlets scrum-half Rhodri Williams, who made his debut as a second-half replacement against Tonga, keeps his place in the matchday squad.

Wales team to face Australia in Saturday's autumn international at the Millennium Stadium:

Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), O Williams (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Scarlets), North (Northampton Saints), Biggar (Ospreys), Phillips (unattached), Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Hibbard (Ospreys), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), AW Jones (Ospreys), Evans (Ospreys), Lydiate (Racing Metro), Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Owens (Scarlets), Bevington (Ospreys), Lee (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Tipuric (Ospreys), R Williams (Scarlets), Priestland (Scarlets), L Williams (Scarlets).

PA

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk