Wales taking on Australia at their own game as Warren Gatland rolls the dice with Owen Williams gamble

The irony of his new-look midfield facing an Australian centre pairing with a combined weight of 33 stone in Cardiff on Saturday will not be lost on Warren Gatland.

With the Wales head coach naming Gloucester fly-half Owen Williams at No 12 he has effectively torn up the ‘Warrenball’ blueprint he has favoured through hell and high water during his coaching career in favour of the second ballplayer model usually favoured by the Wallabies.

Williams, a 6ft tall, 14st 4lbs fly-half, is paired with British & Irish Lions star Jonathan Davies, with Dan Biggar at No 10, with the Wales midfield responsible not only for creating the magic, but also holding back the tide of awesome Australian power which will come courtesy of Tevita Kuridrani and Samu Kerevi.

While the focus has been on attack, it is in defence Williams will face the sternest examination.

Some would say this is a Test match tailor made for the hulking presence of Jamie Roberts or Scott Williams in midfield but both men are out of favour as Gatland seeks to broaden Welsh horizons after stumbling on his new model in New Zealand last summer.

Then, Jonathan Sexton combined superbly with Owen Farrell in the Lions midfield, mixing robust defence with creative distribution and intelligent kicking from hand. The Lions were anything but one dimensional and Wales, with Williams and Biggar pulling the strings, will be looking for similar width at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Both Gatland and Rob Howley will leave Wales in 2019 (Getty)

Davies, at 6ft tall and weighing 16st 2lb, is all things to all men. Blessed with a low centre of gravity, superb ballast and even better hands, the Scarlets No 13 is now firmly established as one of the world’s very best centres. Williams will surely benefit from the presence of such a high-class operator alongside him.

Davies will be charged with replicating his summer form, when he was many people’s player of the series as the Lions pulled off an…

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