Gatland changes 3 to play Boks

2014-11-27 14:06
(File: Millennium Stadium)

Cardiff - Wales coach Warren Gatland made three enforced changes to the run-on team to play South Africa in a one-off Test at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

Scarlets back Liam Williams comes in for injured Northampton winger George North, while veteran prop Gethin Jenkins and hooker Scott Baldwin take over from Paul James and Richard Hibbard.

James and Hibbard have returned to club duty with Bath and Gloucester respectively since Saturday's match falls outside the international Test window.

North had negotiated with Northampton to be available for the match, but he suffered what was described as a "severe laceration" in the 34-16 defeat by New Zealand last weekend and has undergone concussion tests in the week.

Same effort

"We have had a couple of changes forced upon us, with the injury to George (North) and with Paul (James) and Richard (Hibbard) returning to their clubs but we have named what we think is a very strong side," Gatland said.

"Last weekend was a very intense, physical encounter. The guys were disappointed but the players are feeling fresh and the focus is looking ahead to Saturday and the Test against the Springboks.

"As coaches we will be asking for the same effort, intensity and desire as last week and we want a repeat of that... on Saturday."

Toulon full-back Leigh Halfpenny and scrum-half Rhys Webb are both fit to play after coming off against South Africa.

Alex Cuthbert lines up on the other wing, with France-based duo Jonathan Davies and Jamie Roberts in midfield.

Dan Biggar is back to partner Webb at half-back, Rhys Priestland and Mike Phillips named on the bench.

Sam Warburton will captain the side from openside with Taulupe Faletau and Dan Lydiate completing the backrow, Alun Wyn Jones and Jake Ball teaming up in the boilerhouse.

On the bench James King replaces fellow Osprey Justin Tipuric as back-row cover, with hooker Emyr Phillips and props Aaron Jarvis and Rhodri Jones now providing front-row bench cover.

Stunning comeback

Wales will be seeking an elusive second-ever victory over the Springboks. The two teams have played each other 29 times since 1906, with South Africa winning 27, losing one (1999) with one drawn (1970).

The Springboks have scored 808 points and 101 tries and conceded 428 points and 36 tries for an average score of 28-15.

The last time they played, the Springboks mounted a stunning comeback to beat Wales 31-30 in Nelspruit in June.



15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Gethin Jenkins

Substitutes: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 James King, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Scott Williams

South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende

Read more on:    warren gatland  |  wales  |  rugby

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