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Gatland bemoans injury woes

Wales head coach Warren Gatland cited his side's injury problems as a key factor in their 25-16 defeat to Australia at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

The New Zealander was not able to field his strongest XV against the Wallabies as full-back Lee Byrne, wing Leigh Halfpenny, back-rower and captain Ryan Jones and centre Jamie Roberts were all absent, forcing a reshuffle with James Hook moved to full-back and Andrew Bishop and Tom Shanklin in the centre, while Dan Lydiate and Sam Warburton were handed starts in the back row.

Gatland, who has now won just one out of 11 games against Tri Nations opposition while in charge of Wales, said: "There were some critical turnovers and errors that were costly and we missed some chances and shots at goal that were costly, but we can look to build on today and improve further in this campaign."

He added: "We played one of the best sides in the world today at full strength and we know we are missing a few key players so there are some positives to take but there are some disappointments as well.

"We have got some real quality players not in the side at the moment.

"I was pleased that we were direct, the scrum went well we were physical and we did a pretty good job on (Australia flanker) David Pocock."

Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards echoed Gatland's sentiments regarding their injured stars, saying: "That was a full strength Australia, we have four or five Lions missing and you would like to think with our forward dominance, if we can get them fit we can become a strong team."

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