A string of injuries to key players has left the cupboard looking decidedly bare for Wales coach Warren Gatland ahead of his team's big clash with the Wallabies at the Millenium Stadium.
Powerful wing George North bacame the latest player to be declared doubtful for the rematch of the recent World Cup third-place play-off match after he suffered a groin injury in the Scarlets victory over Northampton Saints on Friday.
North was helped from the field late in the European Cup clash at Franklin's Gardens and became the latest addition to Gatland's injury list with Scarlets coach Nigel Davies saying that it is something that he will have to 'wait and see' over with North due to have a scan.
Gatland is due to announce his squad on Sunday but he already knows that he will have to make do without the services of influential lock Alun Wyn Jones while fellow beanpole Luke Charteris is also in doubt.
Jones will undergo surgery this week after he dislocated a toe while training with his club the Ospreys this week and Charteris is battling to overcome a wrist injury leaving Gatland's second row options a little short.
In the front row experienced tighthead prop Adam Jones will miss the Ospreys' Earopean Cup match against Treviso after he failed a fitness test on Friday while there are also doubts about the fitness of flank Dan Lydiate.
Another factor which could deny Gatland some vital resources in the December 3 showdown with the Tri-Nations champions is the fact that players based outside of Wales are unlikely to be available.
The game is not sanctioned by the IRB so that may rule out Perpignan flyhalf James Hook, Clermont fullback Lee Byrne, Bayonne scrumhalf Mike Phillips, Exeter prop Craig Mitchell and Sale Sharks' Andy Powell.
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