In naming his Wales squad to face Australia on Saturday, head coach Warren Gatland has shown a consistent selection policy. The nation's young prospects are set to take centre stage at the Millennium Stadium, having come of age in the World Cup in New Zealand.
Halfbacks Lloyd Williams and Rhys Priestland, whom many view as the playmakers to take Wales to the 2015 World Cup, start at nine and ten respectively. In the centre, Jamie Roberts and Scott Williams will be out to cause havoc in attack, while also closing down space in the midfield through which the Australians love to strike.
Prop Scott Andrews makes his first start for Wales, and anybody thinking he might be in for an easy ride against the Wallabies pack will have forgotten the surprising strength they showed in the third-place play-off just last month.
One of the exceptions in this youthful squad is the magnificent 34-year-old Shane Williams, former IRB Player of the Year and the world's second highest try-scorer in top tier rugby, playing in his final Test match. George North, the future to Williams' fast-approaching past, is on the other wing.
The back-row of Sam Warburton, Toby Faletau and Dan Lydiate was never in doubt, with the battle between captain Warburton and fellow openside flanker David Pocock very much at the forefront of everybody's mind.
'These strategies will need to be close to Promethean to stop the Wallabies'
Lock Ian Evans makes his first Welsh appearance in three years alongside battering ram Bradley Davies. Gatland has named an interesting bench, including fly-half Dan Biggar (recalled to the squad as reward for his terrific form for the Ospreys) and regional teammate Justin Tipuric, hot on Warburton's heels for the number seven shirt.
Last weekend at Twickenham, the Wallabies dispatched a somewhat dishevelled Barbarians outfit 60-11. The Baa Baas, whose traditional 'lads on tour' preparation for these fixtures is a throwback to simpler times, were never going to fare well against a controlled Australia team stung by their exit at the World Cup.
What this eight-try rout means for Wales is unclear, given the Barbarians' lack of structure (or effort, depending on how kind you are feeling) in defence. While the Baa Baas were running up a sizeable tab in some of the swankier bars in London, Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards was putting his strategies into action on the outskirts of Cardiff.
Nevertheless, these strategies will need to be close to Promethean to stop the Wallabies, who can quite rightly claim to be one of the best attacking sides in world rugby. Where once their backline possessed two great rugby minds in fly-half Stephen Larkham and inside-centre Tim Horan, the playmaking aptitude of the Class of 2011 is more evident still. James O'Connor, Berrick Barnes, Adam Ashley-Cooper are just three in the green and gold jersey who play with tremendous vision and foresight.
After losing their last encounter, Wales will be out to settle the score in the Millennium Stadium. The Wallabies will arrive with the same unswerving confidence born of winning the last nine games out of eleven in this fixture. The question they will have to ask themselves is whether this new-look Wales team has any interest in past results?
- The Taking Down of Jamie Roberts – part 2
- Rugby World Cup Final 2011 report
- Officlal Welsh Rugby homepage wru.co.uk