Wales change eight for Fiji

Brought in: Priestland, Tipuric. Photo: Planet Rugby

Brought in: Priestland, Tipuric. Photo: Planet Rugby

Wales have made eight personnel changes to their side to face Fiji on Saturday, with Gethin Jenkins returning to the starting line-up to lead the side.

Jenkins will captain the side for a fourth time and is included in a new-look front row. Ospreys hooker Scott Baldwin makes his first start for his country and they will pack down alongside Samson Lee.

Experienced duo Bradley Davies and Luke Charteris come into the second row whilst there is one change in the back-row with Justin Tipuric starting at openside flanker alongside Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau.

Mike Phillips and Rhys Priestland form the half-back partnership and in the midfield Wales welcome back Scott Williams from injury who links up with Jamie Roberts.

The back-three consists of Liam Williams at full-back with George North and Alex Cuthbert on the wings.

“We have made a number of changes, but we are going out there with what we think is a strong side to take on Fiji,” said Gatland.

“The whole squad has been working very hard and were pushing for selection last week so it’s an opportunity for them to start.

“We were pleased with the performance last week and we will be looking to build on that and get the result we want this weekend.

“We have made some changes, some have been enforced due to injury but we don’t feel it weakens the side.”

On the bench, Scarlets pair Emyr Phillips and Rhodri Jones join uncapped former Wales U20 prop Nicky Smith as the front-row cover.

Ospreys duo Alun Wyn Jones and James King complete the forward contingent. Rhodri Williams, James Hook and Cory Allen are named as backs cover.

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Gethin Jenkins (c)
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 James King, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Cory Allen

Date: Saturday, November 15
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kickoff: 14:30 local (GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant Referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa, Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (Italy)

* Planet Rugby

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Filed under Fiji Rugby Union, Fiji tour, Flying Fijians, November Tests, Wales

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