During this tour, Wales were attempting to regain the James Bevan Trophy they lost in 2009, when Australia beat them 33–12 in Cardiff. They had won it the previous year, 21–18. However, the last time Wales beat Australia in Australia was in 1969, when they won 19–16.
Wales lost the series 3–0, continuing their history of not having won in Australia for 43 years. However, all matches were close encounters, and they scored 61 points to Australia's 72. They also played a return match in Cardiff in the 2012 Autumn Internationals that ended in a similar narrow defeat, 14–12.
In the last three matches between the two teams, Wales led with five minutes to go and Australia snatched victory from them.
Towards the end of May, the bulk of the Welsh squad left for Australia, leaving a handful of players to face the Barbarians. After Wales' win over the Barbarians, the few players who had earned their place in the squad during the game left for Australia to join up with the team. Caretaker coach Rob Howley announced a 35-man squad to take to Australia.
Robbie Deans announced his squad to face Wales at the beginning of June. The public already knew that James O'Connor, Kurtley Beale and usual captain James Horwill would all be out of the tour due to injury. From this, Robbie Deans was able to announce his 40-man squad. On 19 June, it was revealed that Beale would return for the third and final test against Wales.
The Welsh Rugby Union announced that this would be a fully capped match. As a result, Martyn Williams became the third Welsh player to reach 100 caps when he came off the bench. It was also announced that this match would see the last international appearances for Martyn Williams and Wales top try-scorer Shane Williams.