Wales change six for Argentina

Date published: November 10 2016

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Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley has made six changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s clash with Argentina in Cardiff.

Howley is able to welcome back the experienced quartet of Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton, Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies who all missed the clash against Australia whilst Gareth Davies and Tomas Francis both earn starts against los Pumas.

Gethin Jenkins will continue to lead the side in what will be a record breaking appearance for the loosehead prop as he becomes the world’s most capped front row forward of all time as he makes his 133rd international appearance (128th cap for Wales plus five British and Irish Lions caps).

Jenkins will pack down with Ken Owens and Francis in the front row with the tighthead replacing Samson Lee who starts on the bench.

Alun Wyn Jones returns to the side after missing last Saturday due to personal reasons and he partners Luke Charteris in the second row. Injury to Bradley Davies sees him drop out of the matchday 23.

One change in the back row sees Sam Warburton return from injury to replace Dan Lydiate, with Warburton joining Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty.

In the back-line, Wales welcome back Liam Williams and he returns to start on the wing alongside George North and Leigh Halfpenny at full-back.

In the midfield Davies, who missed last weekend with a tight hamstring, returns to line-up alongside regional team mate Scott Williams who moves across to inside centre.

Fly-half Dan Biggar will win his 50th cap at the Principality Stadium and starts alongside Gareth Davies at scrum-half.

“We’ve made a number of changes, some of which are selection based and injury enforced but we are also able to select from a number of players returning from injury as well,” said Howley.

“In the backline Liam (Williams) and Jon (Davies) are both back and available and come into the side. We were pleased with Leigh’s performance at full-back last week and we feel this is the best back three combination for this game.

“Jon has recovered from his tight hamstring and will link up with Scott in midfield and it’s a blow to lose Rhys (Webb), but Gareth (Davies) is an excellent scrum half as he has shown on many occasions in the No.9 jersey and he will see it as a great opportunity.

“We’ve made a number of changes in the pack, Tomas Francis starts at tight-head and its great to welcome Alun Wyn Jones back into the side after what has been a really tough few weeks for him and his family.

“Sam (Warburton) came through the match for the Blues well last weekend and comes into the side at blindside. With Sam returning, we have spoken to him and we feel its best for him to focus purely on his performance and role on Saturday, leaving the captaincy with Gethin (Jenkins)

“In terms of achievements its great to see Dan win his 50th cap and also it’s a huge honour for Gethin as he becomes the World’s most capped front-row forward.”

On the bench, Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith and Samson Lee make up the front-row replacements. Cory Hill who made his debut against Australia retains his place alongside James King. Cardiff Blues pair Lloyd Williams and Gareth Anscombe along with Jamie Roberts provide the backline cover.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins (c)
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Cory Hill, 20 James King, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Jamie Roberts

Date: Saturday, November 12
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Luke Pearce (England)
TMO: Shaun Davey (England)

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