Gareth Thomas gets Wales captaincy back

Wales have moved Gareth Thomas from wing to full-back and handed him the captaincy for Friday’s Canada Test. Thomas last led Wales in the 28-18 Six Nations win over Scotland in February.


After Mike Ruddock left as Wales coach Thomas suffered a minor stroke and then lost his captaincy to Stephen Jones under the new coach.


Stephen Jones failed to recover from his knee ligament injury so James Hook starts at 10 in his place. When Stephen Jones went off against Australia Thomas stood in as captain.


“Gareth needs to play and with Stephen injured he is the ideal person to come in and captain the side as we try to lay down a World Cup marker with Canada,” said coach Gareth Jenkins.


“Mark Jones retains his place on the wing and has another opportunity to show what he can do after having an impressive performance against the Pacific Islanders.


“Ceri Sweeney also went well at fly-half last week, but we felt Hook would benefit from another 80 minutes or so at international level, plus we get another chance to assess how he fits into the set-up.


“We have selected a side to beat Canada and there are other players in the squad who may yet come into the equation this series as the shadow of the New Zealand match looms over us.


“We had a healthy debate this week about selection and are another step closer to finding the 22 players who will represent Wales against All Blacks.”


Welsh Team


Wales:

Gareth Thomas (Toulouse, capt), Mark Jones (Scarlets), Tom Shanklin (Blues), Gavin Henson (Ospreys), Shane Williams (Ospreys),James Hook (Ospreys), Dwayne Peel (Scarlets), Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Ian Gough (Dragons), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Jonathan Thomas (Ospreys), Martyn Williams (Blues), Ryan Jones (Ospreys).

Replacements:

Rhys Thomas (Blues), Duncan Jones (Ospreys), Robert Sidoli (Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Michael Phillips (Blues), Ceri Sweeney (Dragons), Sonny Parker (Ospreys).

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