Wales centre Jonathan Davies: Having extra playmaker is where the game is going

Wales are set to make a major tactical shift against Australia next Saturday by employing two midfield playmakers.

The autumn series opener looks likely to see Dan Biggar and Owen Williams filling fly-half and inside centre roles, respectively, mirroring approaches adopted by the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand earlier this year and England during Eddie Jones' successful coaching reign.

It will represent a change of attacking emphasis by Wales, and star centre Jonathan Davies believes it is "where the game is going."

Davies, Lions player of the series against New Zealand, prospered through the combined work of Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell on that tour, and he said: "I enjoyed playing with two midfield generals.

"It opens the whole width of the field. Teams are going that way. Just look at Australia, with (Kurtley) Beale playing a 12.

"The game has changed. Having that extra playmaker is where the game is going.

"The philosophy of how we want to play means we want to get our best athletes on the ball and play with tempo. Once the ball is slowed down these days, defences get on top so easily.

"It's about making sure the speed of ruck and ball-playing is at pace. A big thing for us is having momentum and being able to fill the field.

"Sometimes we get caught up with having one side of the field overloaded, and that makes it easy to defend. We need to make sure that the whole field is used to attack from.

"It is no good if you go through 20 phases and you are still on the halfway line and haven't gone anywhere. You have to be dynamic with the ball and build momentum."

Wales' demanding autumn series - they also face Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa - starts against opponents they have not beaten since 2008, losing 12 successive Tests, including seven in Cardiff.

Current captain Alun Wyn Jones is the probable sole survivor from Wales' starting line-up nine years ago who will be involved next weekend.

"If you look back the last couple of years, there has been disappointment after the Australia games," Davies added.

"The advantage that the teams have coming over here is that they have just come off a tournament and been together for months.

"We were very close a few times (to beating Australia). They are a quality team, you have to give them credit. They are very smart, and they take their opportunities.

"If you look at last year's game, they created three or four chances and they scored.

"For us, it's making sure that we are defensively all on the same page, and making sure we create pressure on them and put their skill-set under pressure. Hopefully, errors come from that.

"If you are too passive, these southern-hemisphere teams just pick you off. The big thing for us is creating that pressure.

"(The 2019 World Cup) is around the corner, and a good autumn would propel us confidently into the Six Nations and help us to build momentum.

"We are looking for some big results in this campaign. It starts with Australia. Yes, we haven't beaten them for a long time, but with the talent we have got in this squad, we can be very competitive and get the results we want."

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