'BATTERED and bruised' Wales will give Dragons back rower Aaron Wainwright until the last minute to prove his fitness for the autumn finale against Australia.

The 24-year-old from Bassaleg sat out Sunday's 38-23 victory over Fiji after coming off in the 23-18 loss to South Africa because of a shoulder injury.

Wales are already without Taulupe Faletau, Justin Tipuric, Josh Navidi, Ross Moriarty, James Botham and Dan Lydiate in the back row and fielded Ellis Jenkins, Thomas Young and Taine Basham last weekend, a livewire trio but lacking bulk.

Forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys is hopeful that Wainwright will be fit to win his 34th cap and add some size and carrying from number eight against the Wallabies.

Wales Aaron Wainwright tackled by South Africas Siya Kolisi and South Africas Bongi Mbonambi during the Autumn Internationals match at Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Picture date: Saturday November 6, 2021.

Wales' Aaron Wainwright tackled by South Africa's Siya Kolisi and South Africa's Bongi Mbonambi during the Autumn Internationals match at Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Picture date: Saturday November 6, 2021.

"It's going to be a late call. He's made significant improvement so hopefully he'll be involved at the weekend," he said.

"Our week has been tailored to trying to get as much petrol in the tank as we can for the weekend. There has not been a lot of physical stuff so the call on him will be made later on in the week."

Wainwright's Dragons teammate Will Rowlands won't face Australia after suffering a head injury against Fiji.

Wales are braced to be without both the lock and tighthead WillGriff John because of the six-day turnaround while there will be late calls on Wainwright, wing Josh Adams (calf) and tighthead Tomas Francis (concussion).

Head coach Wayne Pivac headed into the campaign without a number of experienced campaigners and the squad has been hit by injury misfortune throughout November.

"There's a team here who are battered and bruised off the back of the most challenging autumn they've ever had," said Humphreys.

"We're extremely lucky to be playing the top three sides in the world and then Fiji who pose a massive physical challenge.

"It's been brilliant for us in terms of finding out about people who can add to our depth. Those injuries we've had have forced players to play who probably wouldn't have played much.

"So rather than look at the negatives of we're missing all these people, the bigger picture is telling us we've got a team that can fight toe to toe with all those injuries and that's a huge positive for us.

"We're just thinking about how we get the tank off empty to put up a show against Australia and go and win that game."

Dragons hooker Elliot Dee, who was released from the squad because of a neck injury suffered on club duty, was recalled on Monday and could back up Ryan Elias from the bench.

Basham is likely to win his seventh cap after starting all three autumn Tests and being described as a "massive positive" of the campaign by Humphreys while Ben Carter is a contender to replace Rowlands.

Adam Beard will start in the second row with Carter and fellow novices Christ Tshiunza and Rhys Davies options along with the more experienced Seb Davies, who has been used in the back row this campaign.

Wales name their team on Thursday.