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Rob Howley sees 'X-Factor' and versatility in Liam Williams

Wales boss Rob Howley has described Liam Williams as "probably a left-wing who can play full-back" after making another switch of positions with Toulon star Leigh Halfpenny.

Credit: Paul Harding/PA Wire

Many pundits view full-back as the best role for Williams, who looks set to join English and European champions Saracens next season and is rated as a British and Irish Lions certainty in New Zealand next summer.

He started in the number 15 shirt when Wales claimed a tense 33-30 victory over Japan last weekend, with Halfpenny on the wing, but those roles have been reversed for South Africa's Principality Stadium visit on Saturday.

Liam was very disappointed with his performance (against Japan). I spoke to him about being a connection in the back field. Liam is a very intuitive player, there is an X-factor about Liam and he has that ability to add value in the wider channels.

But Leigh is equally important. The way we defend, Leigh Halfpenny does a lot of work on and off the ball. For me, at the moment, that is the best back-three (George North is the other wing). Liam is probably a left-wing who can play full-back, where I think Leigh can play both.

– Rob Howley, Wales Interim Head Coach

Rob Howley to unveil Wales squad for autumn internationals

Credit: PA

Rob Howley will today unveil his Wales squad for the forthcoming autumn internationals.

The former Wales scrum half has stepped in as head coach for the rest of the season as Warren Gatland focuses on the 2017 Lions tour of New Zealand.


  • Wales v Australia - Saturday 5th November, 14:30.
  • Wales v Argentina - Saturday 12th November, 17:30.
  • Wales v Japan - Saturday 19th November, 14:30.
  • Wales v South Africa - Saturday 26th November, 17:30


Gatland says he's "confident" ahead of Australia test

Warren Gatland says he's "confident" ahead of Wales' final autumn series clash against Australia next Saturday.

His side have now won two autumn internationals on the bounce - after having gone four years without one - but failed to score a single point in the second half of yesterday's 17-7 win against Tonga.

"I think we've got to be confident," he said.

"We've got to look forward to it. We were very disappointed with the first game (against South Africa).

"We were behind and got back into it, showed some character in terms of dealing with injuries and I know in the past we wouldn't have been able to do that.

"If we can win next week and finish with three from four I think that would be a satisfactory autumn."

Gatland: "We weren't as clinical as we needed to be"

Warren Gatland says last night's Autumn International against Tonga was "a little bit frustrating", as he watched his side score two first half tries on their way to 17-7 win, before failing to score in the second half.

"It's a win. It was a little bit frustrating. Tonga tried to slow the game down and frustrate us and they pretty much did a good job of it," he said.

"It was a good start, a positive start, I think the ambition was there. We got across the try line, I think, four times. Unfortunately we weren't able to convert those close chances.

"We probably weren't quite as clinical as we needed to be, but for a lot of those players it was their first time together and I can't fault the effort in terms of the ambition.

"We're not that pleased with the performance but it's a win and maybe in the past those are the games we might have succumbed."

FT: Wales 17 - 7 Tonga

Wales clinched a 17-7 win against Tonga at the Millennium Stadium this evening. First half tries from Owen Williams and Ashley Beck gave the home side the early lead. Tonga fought back with a try just after the half hour mark, but Wales' lead was otherwise untroubled.

Hallam Amos came close to scoring after the break. Neither team managed to score in the second half, but it was the win Warren Gatland would have wanted in what was his 100th game in charge as an international manager.

Coombs forced out of Tonga match through injury

Wales forward Andrew Coombs has been forced out of tonight's meetingtonga with a back problem.He has been replaced in the starting XV by Dan Lydiate with Alun Wyn-Jones joining the substitutes.Coombs had been a doubt since Rob Howley revealed yesterday that hemissed training.


Wales squad named ahead of Tonga clash

The Wales squad to face Tonga

Newport Gwent Dragons back Hallam Amos will make his Wales debut in Friday night's clash against Tonga at the Millennium Stadium.

The 19 year-old is among 11 changes from the side which claimed a record 40-6 victory against Argentina.

The four survivors are Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Rhodri Jones and Justin Tipuric. Ryan Jones is Captain.

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