Wales bring in Davies for ABs clash

Date published: November 18 2014

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Wales coach Warren Gatland has recalled centre Jonathan Davies to his starting XV for Saturday’s clash with New Zealand in Cardiff.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has recalled centre Jonathan Davies to his starting XV for Saturday’s clash with New Zealand in Cardiff.

Gatland has named an experienced side with Davies the only change to the team that started against Australia two weeks ago.

Davies comes into the midfield to partner Jamie Roberts whilst Gatland also calls upon the returning Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny in the back-line.

Halfpenny comes back into the side after missing the Fiji match and links up with try-scorers from that game, George North and Alex Cuthbert in the back-three. Ospreys halfback pair Webb and Biggar are named at nine and 10 respectively.

The pack features the same eight that started against the Wallabies. Paul James, Richard Hibbard and Samson Lee comprise the front-row. Alun Wyn Jones and Jake Ball start in the second row with captain Sam Warburton, who missed the clash against Fiji, coming back into the side alongside Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau.

“It’s pretty much the same side that played against Australia and it’s a boost to have a few players back from injury,” said Gatland.

“It’s one of the most experienced teams we have put out.

“A couple of decisions have been forced upon us. Gethin Jenkins has a hamstring strain, Bradley Davies hasn’t trained for the first couple of days and Liam Williams had a bit of ankle knock at the weekend and it was a big call on him but he will start on the bench.”

Ospreys pair Scott Baldwin and Nicky Smith are joined by Rhodri Jones as front-row cover on the bench with Luke Charteris and Justin Tipuric completing the forward contingent.

Mike Phillips, James Hook and Liam Williams provide cover for the backline.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin , 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Luke Charteris , 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 James Hook, 23 Liam Williams.

Date: Saturday, November 22
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 17:30 local (GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Luke Pearce (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

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