Gethin Jenkins will captain Wales against Australia on Saturday
The experienced starting XV can count 802 Wales caps between them
Rob Howley is without Sam Warburton and Taulupe Faletau in the back row
Gethin Jenkins will captain an experienced Wales side that will take on Australia in the opening Under Armour Series clash on Saturday (KO 14:30).
Wales’ most capped player of all time will lead his country for a seventh time (third time against Australia) as the four match series kicks off in Cardiff.
The experienced starting XV can count 802 Wales caps between them but there are two uncapped players named amongst the replacements in Ospreys fly-half Sam Davies and Newport Gwent Dragons second row Cory Hill.
Leigh Halfpenny plays at full back in Williams’ absence, which his first appearance for more than a year.
“It’s great to welcome back Halfpenny, Dan Lydiate, and Alex Cuthbert who missed the New Zealand tour plus George North and Gethin Jenkins who left the tour early with injury,” said coach Rob Howley.
“With losing Sam Warburton, Taulupe Faletau and Alun Wyn Jones, we have spoken a lot about the leadership group this week and their importance on the field.
“From the Welsh squad’s perspective, our thoughts go out to Alun Wyn and his family at this difficult time.
“With the two uncapped players, Davies has played particularly well, he deserves his chance and hopefully will have an influence on the game.
“Cory comes onto the bench, with Rory (Thornton) having picked up a back spasm, and we are delighted with him and how he has stepped up to this level in training.”