Lydiate's Wales face Kings
Sat, 07 Jun 2014 14:49
To experience a short turn around and replicate what we will face at the World Cup
Dan Lydiate will captain Wales in their opening game in South Africa against Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
The British and Irish Lions flanker has recovered from a hamstring injury to lead a match day squad that includes all four uncapped players who have made the journey to South Africa.
Three of those players are named in Warren Gatland's starting XV with Matthew Morgan lining up at fullback, Steven Shingler at inside centre and Jordan Williams on the wing.
They are joined in the backline by Cardiff Blues duo Alex Cuthbert and Cory Allen as well as James Hook and Rhodri Williams at halfback.
In the pack Paul James is named alongside Scott Baldwin and Rhodri Jones in the front-row with Jake Ball and Ian Evans in the second-row. Lydiate is joined by Scarlets Josh Turnbull at flanker with Dan Baker at No 8.
"It's an opportunity to see a number of squad pull on the Wales jersey and represent their country and see how they handle the game and the pressure," said Gatland.
"We know how tough the next few weeks are going to be and that starts on Tuesday and we have to be prepared for a big game and hit the ground running.
"We were keen to have this match, to experience a short turn around and replicate what we will face at the World Cup next year.
"That preparation is well under way and Tuesday is a great opportunity for players who have impressed this season and at the trial to stake their claim on the international stage."
On the bench Matthew Rees is named in a Wales squad for the first time since February 2013 and he is joined by fellow front-row replacements Aaron Jarvis and Samson Lee. Luke Charteris and Aaron Shingler complete the forward contingent. Uncapped Gareth Davies is named amongst the replacements along with George North and Liam Williams.
Wales: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Steven Shingler, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 James Hook, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Dan Baker, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Dan Lydiate (captain), 5 Ian Evans, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Scott Baldwin, Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 George North, 23 Liam Williams.
Date: Tuesday, June 10
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
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