Gatland reverts to experienced line-up

November 18, 2014 12:59:53 UK

Sam Warburton will captain Wales against New Zealand.

Warren Gatland has named a similar Wales side to the one that was beaten by Australia earlier this month for New Zealand’s visit to Cardiff this weekend.

The only change sees Jonathan Davies come into the side at centre and he will partner Jamie Roberts while Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny will all feature in the backline.

Halfpenny, who missed the victory against Fiji, will link up with George North and Alex Cuthbert in the back-three.

The pack is unchanged from the narrow defeat to the Wallabies which means Paul James, Richard Hibbard and Samson Lee are in the front-row, with Alun Wyn Jones, captain Sam Warburton, Jake Ball, Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau completing the forward line-up.

We are expecting another clinical performance from the All Blacks. We need to match their intensity and aggression.

Warren Gatland

“It’s pretty much the same side that played against Australia and it’s a boost to have a few players back from injury,” said Gatland. “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.

“We are expecting another clinical performance from the All Blacks. We need to match their intensity and aggression.

“The players are obviously excited about the opportunity to face the number one side at a packed Millennium Stadium. We have named an experienced team and we are really looking forward to it.”

New Zealand are 2.00 to win the match with a 14.5-point handicap while a Wales victory against the All Blacks is available at 5.75.

Wales team to play the All Blacks:

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).

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