Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Wales make ten changes for Japan visit

Wales have made a number of changes to their starting lineup for the third game of the Autumn Series against Japan.

Having ended a six game losing streak against Argentina last Saturday, interim Head Coach Rob Howley has given several players chances to impress against a much-changed Japan side from the one that beat South Africa in the 2015 World Cup.

Credit: PA

Sam Warburton regions the captaincy and the Number 7 jersey as he lines up alongside Dan Lydiate and James King in the back row.

Dragons lock Cory Hill, who made his debut against Australia two weeks ago, packs down alongside Alun Wyn Jones, who wins his 104th international cap, and behind an all-new front row of Samson Lee, Nicky Smith and Scott Baldwin.

In the back line, Lloyd Williams and Gareth Anscombe make up a new half-back partnership while Jamie Roberts returns to partner Jonathan Davies in midfield.

The back three sees one change in personnel with Alex Cuthbert returning in place of George North, while a reshuffle in position sees Liam Williams shifted to full-back and Leigh Halfpenny moving to the wing.

Teenage sensation Keelan Giles is included on the bench for the first time having been called into the squad following an impressive start to the season with the Ospreys and could get his first chance to impress at the Principality Stadium.

“We have made a number of changes but have named a very experienced side,” said Head Coach Rob Howley.

“Continuity and momentum is important, hence keeping the likes of Alun Wyn, Jon Davies and Sam (Warburton) in the side, but it is also an opportunity for players who were disappointed against Australia to start and for players who have been pushing on selection.

“We have made a change with Liam (Williams) moving to full-back and Leigh (Halfpenny) onto the wing. Leigh has done well at full-back but we are giving an opportunity to Liam, it’s his favorable position, Leigh has played on the wing before they have trained well there and we want to have a look at what this option gives us.

“Japan are a much changed side from the Rugby World Cup but Jamie (Joseph) is developing his team and their recent performances echo the dangers of the RWC with their ability to move the ball wide early and they are a great counter attacking team.

“It’s important we look at our game and are clinical in what we want to do this weekend.”