Rugby

Warburton back for Wales

2016-11-17 14:07
Sam Warburton (Getty)

Cardiff - Wales have made 10 changes to their side to face Japan at Principality Stadium on Saturday with captain Sam Warburton returning to the side.

Warburton moves to openside flank and is joined in the back row by Ospreys duo Dan Lydiate and James King. It's an all-new front row for Wales with Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin and Samson Lee, who all started on the bench against Argentina last weekend, called into the starting side.

Cory Hill, who made his debut against Australia in the opening November Series encounter against Australia, packs down alongside Alun Wyn Jones, who will win his 104th cap for Wales, in the second-row.

Cardiff Blues duo Lloyd Williams and Gareth Anscombe partner at halfback, with the latter making his first start at flyhalf for Wales.

The experienced pairing of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies will line-up for a 46th time in the midfield together for their country.

There is one personnel change in the back-three with Alex Cuthbert coming into the side for George North. Liam Williams starts at full-back with Leigh Halfpenny moving to the wing.

"We have made a number of changes but have named a very experienced side," said Wales head coach Rob Howley.

"Continuity and momentum is important, hence keeping the likes of Alun Wyn, Jon Davies and Sam (Warburton) in the side, but it is also an opportunity for players who were disappointed against Australia to start and for players who have been pushing on selection.

"We have made a change with Liam (Williams) moving to full-back and Leigh (Halfpenny) onto the wing. Leigh has done well at fullback but we are giving an opportunity to Liam, it's his favourable position, Leigh has played on the wing before they have trained well there and we want to have a look at what this option gives us.

"Japan are a much changed side from the Rugby World Cup but Jamie (Joseph) is developing his team and their recent performances echo the dangers of the Rugby World Cup with their ability to move the ball wide early and they are a great counter attacking team.

"It's important we look at our game and are clinical in what we want to do this weekend."

On the bench Cardiff Blues trio, Kristian Dacey, Rhys Gill and Scott Andrews provide the front-row cover with Jake Ball and Ross Moriarty completing the forward contingent. Gareth Davies and Sam Davies are joined by uncapped 18-year-old wing Keelan Giles. Giles will become the 11th youngest Wales international if he takes to the field on Saturday.

Teams:

Wales

15 Liam Williams, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Alex Cuthbert, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 James King, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Cory Hill, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith

Substitutes: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Keelan Giles

Japan

15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Kenki Fukuoka; 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka; 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 6 Malgene Ilaua; 5 Samuela Anise, 4 Kyosuke Kajikawa; 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Satoshi Nakatani

Substitutes: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Heiichiro Ito, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 21 Yuhimaru Mimura, 22 Keisuke Uchida, Amanaki Lotoahea

Read more on:    wales  |  sam warburton  |  rugby
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