Williams anticipates great Test against Australia

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The Independent Online

Martyn Williams anticipates another Wales versus Australia Test match high on entertainment next Saturday.

The countries' last four Millennium Stadium meetings have produced an aggregate of 195 points and 21 tries.



And another thrilling encounter would be exactly what Test rugby needs following an autumn series across Europe when the boot has ruled.



"Wales and Australia play similar styles - we both try to play expansively," said 90 times-capped Wales flanker Williams.



"They are normally good games too, with a high ball in play time and a lot of attacking rugby.



"And recently, we've always seemed to play them last up after we have been together for a month during the autumn and started hitting our straps."



Australia conclude their November tour against Wales following a disappointing trip that has so far produced two defeats, one draw and a victory over misfiring England.



But Williams expects the Wallabies, currently third on the International Rugby Board world rankings list, to seriously test Wales.



"Perhaps results haven't quite gone their way," he added.



"But they dominated the England game a couple of weeks ago, and then I thought they were really unlucky against Ireland (Australia drew 20-20).



"I haven't seen the Scotland game, but from what I have heard Australia blew a lot of chances. They are a young side that will get better and better.



"Australia are so innovative as a side. They are a great team to watch, and they can run at you from anywhere. You cannot switch off.



"I don't think it is a game (next Saturday) that is going to be won on penalty kicks."



Wales head coach Warren Gatland is due to name his team later today.



There will be a change at scrum-half after Gareth Cooper was released to play for Cardiff Blues against the Wallabies tonight - Dwayne Peel is the likely starter in Wales' number nine shirt.



And Gatland must also decide whether to recall fit-again Blues centre Tom Shanklin or retain Scarlets midfield prospect Jonathan Davies, who replaced Shanklin in the 33-16 success against Argentina last weekend.



"Our strength in depth is the strongest it has been for a number of years, but we've got to back that up with a performance against Australia," said Williams.



"If we don't win next Saturday, it is going to be a disappointing autumn, there is no doubt about that. It's a big game for both teams."



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