The Wallabies will unleash powerful No.8 Langi Gleeson on struggling Wales in Sunday’s (2.15am AEDT) season-ending Test at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
Gleeson has replaced the injured Rob Valetini (ankle) at the back of the scrum in what will be a much-changed Australia team from the one beaten by Ireland in Dublin.
It will be Gleeson’s first Test start after two cameos off the bench, continuing a meteoric rise for the powerful Waratahs youngster.
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“I didn’t expect to be a Wallaby within 10 years,” Gleeson told reporters after making the touring squad.
“I was just trying to make my Waratahs debut this year.”
Gleeson was scarcely used by NSW in Super Rugby this season but he flashed his enormous potential for Australia A in the Pacific Nations Cup and tour of Japan.
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“Made for Test rugby,” former Wallaby Morgan Turinui said on Stan Sport, while Waratahs teammate Max Douglas described him as a “physical freak.”
Both Australia and Wales are desperate for a morale-boosting win.
The Wallabies are 1-3 on tour while Wales are reeling after a historic loss to Georgia.
Australia will also be without former captain Michael Hooper, who suffered a concussion in the loss to Ireland.
Fraser McReight is the obvious replacement for Hooper at openside flanker.
The Wallabies will officially name their squad on Thursday at 10.45pm (AEDT).
Sean Maloney and Morgan Turinui return to delve into all the Autumn Nation Series results as well as reviewing the RWC qualifying results and World Rugby Awards
“It’s tough. I’m not going to lie. It is incredibly disappointing, which is probably putting it lightly,” Wales assistant coach and Test legend Neil Jenkins said after losing to Georgia.
“It’s one of the darkest days. But you’ve got to go again. We’ve got another Test match on Saturday (local time), and it is important that we turn up and front up…
“It’s horrific. It’s absolutely horrific. It never gets easier, not that it should do either. I’m a passionate Welshman.
“I’m desperate for Wales to do well. It could be tiddlywinks, I want Wales to win and be successful.
“Whether I’m involved in that or not is irrelevant to me. I want Wales to be successful.
“I want to win Test matches. That’s what I’m here for, to be successful and win.”
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