This is now do-or-die territory for the Wallabies after their shock defeat to Fiji last weekend and they know defeat will be a huge blow to their chances of reaching the knockout stage.
Under-fire Eddie Jones took full responsibility for the Fiji loss and Australia must beat Warren Gatland’s side, who are top of Pool C with a maximum 10 points from games against Fiji and Portugal.
Wales will want to ensure their own last-eight ambitions are not called into question by a heavy loss, while a third successive victory would seal their place in the next phase.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Wales vs Australia takes place on Sunday September 24, 2023, with kick-off scheduled for 8pm BST.
The game will be hosted by the OL Stadium in Lyon.
Where to watch Wales vs Australia
TV channel: In the UK, Wales vs Australia will be shown live on free-to-air channel ITV1, with coverage starting at 7:15pm.
Live stream: The game is also available to watch for free online via the ITV website and ITVX app.
Live blog: Follow all the action on Sunday night with Standard Sport’s live match blog.
Wales vs Australia team news
Wales made wholesale changes for their lowest-key Pool C fixture against Portugal, but Gatland has now reverted back to the same XV that started the opening tussle with Fiji.
Jac Morgan captains the team from flanker and the biggest headline is the absence of co-skipper Dewi Lake, who does not make the matchday squad with Elliot Dee backing up starting hooker Ryan Elias instead.
Prop Henry Thomas is in line to make his World Cup debut from the bench and there’s a 50th cap for lock Adam Beard. Tommy Reffell misses out again with a calf issue, meanwhile.
For Australia, Ben Donaldson is moved from full-back to fly-half, with Andrew Kellaway in at 15 and Carter Gordon dropped to the bench.
First-choice scrum-half Tate McDermott is back after concussion to take over from Nic White, with hooker Dave Porecki named as captain again with Will Skelton still sidelined.
Jones has also shuffled his back row, with Rob Leota starting at blindside flanker and Tom Hooper switching to the openside as Fraser McReight moves to the bench.
Wales vs Australia lineups
Wales XV: L Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, Tompkins, Adams; Biggar, G Davies; G Thomas, Elias, Francis; Rowlands, Beard; Wainwright, Morgan (c), Faletau
Replacements: Dee, Domachowski, H Thomas, D Jenkins, Basham, T Williams, Anscombe, Dyer
Australia XV: Kellaway; Nawaqanitawase, Petaia, Kerevi, Koroibete; Donaldson, McDermott; Bell, Porecki (c), Slipper; Frost, Arnold; Leota, T Hooper, Valetini
Replacements: Faessler, Schoupp, Fa'amausili, Philip, McReight, White, Gordon, Vunivalu
Wales vs Australia referee
The referee for Sunday night’s game will be England’s Wayne Barnes, assisted by Luke Pearce and Christophe Ridley plus TMO Tom Foley.
Wales vs Australia prediction
Jones admits his job is on the line on Sunday after a torrid second spell as Wallabies coach so far but he has also said that he has “no doubt” that his team will emerge victorious.
The usual predictable and trademark mind games from the former England boss, but the whole approach feels just a little bit tired these days.
This is a real chance for Wales, who have had their own massive problems over the last year, to make a proper statement by effectively sending the Wallabies home early and booking their own quarter-final berth in the process.
And we’ll think they will narrowly get the job done in a captivating, physical tussle.
Wales to win, by three points.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
Wales had not beaten Australia since 2008 before a run of three consecutive wins between 2018-2021.
The last meeting came in Cardiff during the 2022 round of autumn internationals, when Wales led 34-13 before inexplicably losing 39-34 under Wayne Pivac, who was sacked after a dire run of just three wins from the calendar year.
Wales wins: 13
Australia wins: 31
Wales vs Australia latest odds
Wales to win: 5/6
Australia to win: 11/10
Odds via Befair and subject to change.