Rugby
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Wales No. 12 Owen Williams ready for attacking role vs. Wallabies

Rugby

Owen Williams is ready to relish his role and the responsibility when he makes a first Test match start for Wales Saturday.

The Gloucester back lines up at inside-centre alongside fly-half and fellow midfield playmaker Dan Biggar against Principality Stadium visitors Australia.

Not only is it the 25-year-old's home debut, he has also been entrusted with being at the heart of Wales' creative and attacking game in a shift of tactical emphasis as they target a first victory over the Wallabies since 2008.

"We are not trying to reinvent the wheel," Williams said, of the 10-12 link. "It's just about options going forward.

"It is maybe slightly different to what Wales have had in the past few years. We are just experimenting, and it's just nice to get the opportunity.

"I am happy to play there (12). I played quite a few times there for my previous club Leicester, and I've played there for Gloucester once this year, so I am comfortable in the role.

"I played a little bit at age-group rugby [at 12], but I was mainly a 10 coming through. I filled in at 12 because of injuries at Leicester, and ended up playing quite a few on the bounce at the end of last season and played in a Premiership semifinal there.

"At 10, you obviously kick the ball a lot more than at 12. Ten is the organiser, the main playmaker who calls the starters -- what you run off certain positions.

"But you maybe call a phase off nine, and 12 organises the forwards outside of him, so 10 doesn't have to worry about that. Twelve is basically a second set of eyes for 10 and just feeds information to 10 and sees where the space is.

"It worked for the Lions in the summer. That's how I am going to approach the weekend. Just help "Biggs" at 10 and just get the team moving around a bit and get Australia moving around the park."

Captain Alun Wyn Jones is the only starting XV survivor this weekend from Wales' last win against Australia nine years ago, while the Wallabies coasted home in last season's Cardiff encounter, posting an emphatic 32-8 verdict.

And while ex-Scarlets back Williams has just one cap to his name, he will enter the Principality Stadium cauldron on the back of four years' English Premiership experience at Leicester and now Gloucester.

"I think I am improved quite a bit since moving away," he added.

"When I first moved to Leicester, I had the likes of Toby Flood with 60 caps for England in front of me, and in my first year I ended up starting.

"Obviously I then had a good battle with Freddie [Burns], and he has played for England a few times. I've played in big games, a European semifinal and a few Premiership semifinals, so it has helped my game."

Wales have suffered 12 defeats on the bounce against Australia, a dismal record that they will look to end in front of an anticipated 70,000 crowd.

"Australia are a good attacking team," Williams said.

"Last year, they scored some unbelievable tries. We have just got to be very clinical. We can't concede any soft points.

"If you are on the back foot against Australia, it can be very difficult. They have got some sharp attackers and they have got good skills, so we have just got to stay on top defensively."

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