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All Blacks name team to face Wales on Saturday

New Zealand have named a strong team to face Wales in the third autumn international at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

Read More: McCaw to captain All Blacks for 100th time vs Wales

The All Blacks have made 12 changes to the weakened side which beat Scotland 24-16 last weekend.

Star fly-half Dan Carter is not included in the squad after making his first Test start of the year on Saturday, nor is regular full back Israel Dagg.

Dan Carter is only just returning to rugby after a sabbatical and then injury. Credit: PA

Full New Zealand team to face Wales on Saturday:

  • Ben Smith, Charles Piutau, Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett.

Replacements:

  • Kevin Mealamu, Joe Moody, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Liam Messam; TJ Perenara, Colin Slade, Ryan Crotty.

Wales team to face New Zealand announced

Jonathan Davies is the only personnel change to the team that started against Australia. Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Wales has named an experienced side to face New Zealand on Saturday, with centre Jonathan Davies the only personnel change to the team that started against Australia.

WALES TEAM TO PLAY NEW ZEALAND:

Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton Saints), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Paul James (Bath), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Unattached), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, CAPT), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons). Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), James Hook (Gloucester), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

It's pretty much the same side that played against Australia and it's a boost to have a few players back from injury.

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.

– Warren Gatland

Gatland to name starting line-up for All Blacks clash

Credit: EMPICS Sport/EMPICS Sport

Wales coach Warren Gatland is due to name his starting line-up, today, for the clash against the All Blacks.

Full back Leigh Halfpenny, centre Jonathan Davies and fly-half Dan Biggar are all back in training.

Davies has not played for more than three weeks, while Halfpenny and Biggar were both injured during Wales' 33-28 defeat against Australia.

If Halfpenny is declared fit, it would leave Gatland needing to decide on a recall for the Toulon star instead of Liam Williams, who was Wales' best player in a lethargic 17-13 victory over Fiji.

In midfield he could face a straight choice between Davies and Scott Williams.

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Gatland wants 'clarity' from Hibbard over club appearance

Warren Gatland said he will ask Richard Hibbard for an explanation over why he played for his club Gloucester on Friday night, despite being ruled out of Wales contention due to an injury.

The Wales head coach confirmed Hibbard would be coming back into his squad ahead ahead of next Saturday's game against New Zealand, but said he would be having a conversation with the 30-year-old hooker.

"I just want to get some clarity on what's going on, because, if he was fit for Wales, he would have been involved. Either he's fit or he's not."

"I don't blame Gloucester at all. Sometimes a player needs to be stronger", Gatland said, after yesterday's game against Fiji.

Gatland 'frustrated' by poor Wales performance

Wales head coach Warren Gatland admitted to feel disappointed and frustrated at his side's performance, as they scraped to a 17-13 victory over Fiji yesterday.

He pointed to the number of turnovers his side gave away, and said the backs weren't clinical enough, which meant the game became "a bit of a dogfight."

Wales face the world's top side, New Zealand, at the Millennium Stadium next Saturday. They haven't beaten the All Blacks since 1953.

Gatland said: "It's going to be tough - but you've got to be excited to be playing the best team in the world."

Full time: Wales 17-13 Fiji

Wales had to endure a nervous last few seconds to beat Fiji in their second autumn international, after a disappointing second half performance.

The visitors scored a late interception try through centre Nemani Nadolo, as Wales failed to add to their score, despite playing for nearly half an hour against 14 men.

Alex Cuthbert was one of three first-half try scorers for Wales. Credit: PA

60mins: Wales 17-6 Fiji

Wales have been unable to extend their lead against Fiji after a scrappy start to the second half at the Millennium Stadium.

It looked as though Dan Lydiate had scored their fourth try after 52 minutes, but the television match official could not confirm that he had grounded the ball after a rolling maul from a lineout.

Fiji prop Campese Ma'afu had though made contact with Bradley Davies as he caught the ball at that lineout, and he was shown a second yellow card to reduce the visitors to 14 men.

Jamie Roberts had Fijian tacklers hanging off him after another strong break. Credit: PA
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