Wales start Williams on the wing against Springboks

Wales coach Warren Gatland has named his team to play South Africa’s Springboks with Liam Williams replacing the injured George North on the wing.

Gatland has made three enforced changes to the starting team as along with Williams coming in for North, veteran prop Gethin Jenkins and hooker Scott Baldwin take over from Paul James and Richard Hibbard.

James and Hibbard are not eligible for selection this weekend as the Test falls outside the international window so they have both returned to their respective clubs Bath and Gloucester.

Winger North had negotiated with Northampton to be available for this week but he suffered a “severe laceration” in last week’s 16-34 loss to New Zealand and has also undergone concussion tests this week.

“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 we have come in this morning, the squad 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.

Wales have only beaten South Africa once (1999) in 29 Test matches since their first meeting in 1906. South Africa have won 27 Tests and there was a draw in 1970.


Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert , Jonathan Davies , Jamie Roberts , Liam Williams , Dan Biggar , Rhys Webb ; Gethin Jenkins , Scott Baldwin , Samson Lee , Jake Ball , Alun Wyn Jones , Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (c), Taulupe Faletau .

Replacements: Emyr Phillips , Aaron Jarvis , Rhodri Jones , Luke Charteris , James King , Mike Phillips , Rhys Priestland , Scott Williams .

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