Jun 28

Wales Change Five For First All Black Test

Following their 27-13 defeat at the hands of old rivals England a fortnight ago, Wales has changed a third of its team for the next test, the first against New Zealand on the summer tour.

Five Changes

The changes come in an attempt to raise the Welsh game against the world’s number one team. One continuation was that of second-rower Alun Wyn Jones, who is set to run out for his 100th test appearance in the red shirt of Wales when they take on New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday 11th June.

Another change in the tight five is the inclusion of Bradley Davies in place of Lock Jake Ball, although Ball is being given a place on the bench.

Samson Lee retains his place in the front row. However, against the All Blacks on Saturday, he will pack down with Ken Owens at hooker and Gethin Jenkins at prop. Scott Baldwin and Rob Evans are ready to provide cover if necessary.

Gatland is able to name Sam Warburton in his starting line-up following his comeback from injury, and Dan Lydiate will pay the price. Despite leading the team against England just a fortnight ago, Lydiate misses out on a place in Saturday’s match day squad altogether.

Scott Williams drops from the backline to the bench, with Jonathan Davies given the nod ahead of Williams.

Experience Prevails

Leaving the midfield alone, Gatland has left his team with an experienced partnership to support the experience that returns to the pack. Gatland’s team combines experience with opportunity for younger players.

There are few rugby nations that take more pride in pulling on the national rugby shirts, so fans can expect a hotly contested match from fiercely competitive individuals.

Gatland is under no illusion about the challenges facing the Wales team against the back-to-back World Champions, but he is confident that the changes he has made will allow the opportunity for lasting impressions that will go beyond the few weeks in New Zealand. If things go his way, this is one Welsh team that will be worthy of headlines this summer!

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