Cuthbert to start as Pivac makes one change for second test with South Africa

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Alex Cuthbert returns to the Wales starting line-up for the second test against South Africa. Picture: WRU
Alex Cuthbert returns to the Wales starting line-up for the second test against South Africa. Picture: WRU

WAYNE Pivac has made one change to the Wales side that was narrowly beaten by South Africa in Pretoria last weekend.

Alex Cuthbert comes in for his 52nd cap to replace Josh Adams, who drops to the bench.

George North, who will start alongside Nick Tompkins at centre, will equal Stephen Jones’ record as the most-capped Welsh men’s international back of all time when he takes to the field on Saturday for his 104th cap.

Only Alun Wyn Jones (151) – named as a replacement for the second Test this weekend – and defence coach Gethin Jenkins (129) have more Wales caps.

The uncapped Sam Wainwright could be in line to make his senior international debut from the bench, after Tomas Francis has flown home after suffering a concussion last time out.

“Alex Cuthbert has been training really well. He’s six foot four, good in the air and runs all day. I think there will be plenty of aerial battles,” said Pivac.

“Sam Wainwright has been very excited to join us. From day one he’s been training really well. I know he’s over the moon at his selection in the match day 23 and his family are over here so he’s looking forward to a big day.

“It was a great atmosphere last week and we’re expecting more of the same from the crowd in Bloemfontein this Saturday.”

South Africa have made 14 changes to their starting line-up for the second test, with only experienced lock Eben Etzebeth keeping his place.

On the South African side Jacques Nienaber named earlier this week, Pivac said: “It hasn’t changed our preparation at all. It’s going to be 15 rugby players in green shirts.

“We’re expecting more of the same. They are a very experienced team no matter what combinations they put out.

“This side is one to be respected and not taken lightly.”

The second test at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein will kick off at 4.05pm on Saturday, and will be shown live on Sky Sports Action with highlights on S4C.

Wales squad in full:

15. Liam Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 79 caps)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 17 caps)
13. George North (Ospreys – 103 caps)
12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 21 caps)
11. Alex Cuthbert (Ospreys – 51 caps)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints – 101 caps) CAPT
9. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 12 caps)
1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 11 caps)
2. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 28 caps)
3. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 39 caps)
4. Will Rowlands (Dragons – 19 caps)
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 35 caps)
6. Dan Lydiate (Ospreys – 66 caps)
7. Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 1 cap)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby – 90 caps)

Replacements:

16. Dewi Lake (Ospreys – 6 caps)
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets – 43 caps)
18. Sam Wainwright (Saracens – uncapped)
19. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys – 151 caps)
20. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Rugby – 31 caps)
21. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 34 caps)
22. Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys – 31 caps)
23. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 40 caps)

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