Wales: Josh Adams starts at 11 as Wayne Pivac keeps changes to a minimum for Springboks Test

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Wales have kept changes to a minimum for Saturday’s series decider against South Africa in Cape Town, with Josh Adams starting on the left wing as the only alteration to the side that won the second Test in Bloemfontein last week.

He comes into the starting line-up as a replacement for Alex Cuthbert who is sidelined with a shoulder injury. Adams is joined in the back three by Louis Rees-Zammit, who will wear the number 14 jersey, and Liam Williams, who starts at full-back.

The rest of the backline sees George North and Nick Tompkins continuing as the centre combination while fly-half and captain Dan Biggar will form a half-back partnership with Kieran Hardy.

It will be a momentous occasion for North as he will make his 105th appearance for Wales which will take him past Stephen Jones’ record as his country’s most capped backline player.

North made his Test debut against the Springboks in Cardiff in 2010 and only veteran second-row Alun Wyn Jones, who has been named on the replacements bench, and former front-row and current defence coach Gethin Jenkins have won more caps for Wales.

In the forwards, Taulupe Faletau continues at number eight alongside Tommy Reffell and Dan Lydiate, who are the starting flankers, while Adam Beard and Will Rowlands pack down in the engine room.

Dillon Lewis and Gareth Thomas retain their positions as the two props and will start alongside hooker Ryan Elias.

On the bench, Dewi Lake, Wyn Jones, Sam Wainwright and former skipper Jones will serve as forward cover while Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe and Owen Watkin are the backline replacements.

Quietly confident

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said: “Most people had written us off before we left Wales and to be in this position with an opportunity to win this series it’s a great position for us to be in. It’s fantastic that there’s something to play for in this Test match.

“However it’s been a tough training week because we’ve been a bit banged up as you’d expect after two very physical Test matches. So to have the majority of the squad that we arrived on these shores with available is a pretty good state to be in and we are really looking forward to the weekend.

“The atmosphere on match day has been excellent. South African fans are very loud, they support their side and they let you know what they are thinking of the occasion. It’s an environment that tests you and the players have so far stood up in both matches.

“We’re looking forward to another full house and another crowd that really gets behind the occasion and makes it a special one.”

When asked about North and the record he is set to attain this weekend, Pivac added: “It’s fantastic for George. He’s worked really hard to come back from a major injury and to break that record is no mean achievement. I’m looking forward to seeing George out there on Saturday and hope he can have a stormer for us.”

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar (c), 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Gareth Thomas
Replacements: 16 Dewi Lake, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Owen Watkin

Date: Saturday, July 16
Venue: DHL Stadium, Cape town
Kick-off: 17:05 local (16:05 BST, 15:05 GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant Referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)

READ MORE: Opinion: Rating every northern hemisphere side’s chances of a series win on Saturday

 

The article Wales: Josh Adams starts at 11 as Wayne Pivac keeps changes to a minimum for Springboks Test appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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