Warren Gatland avoids risks in Wales side to face South Africa
Last Updated: 12/06/14 3:49pm
Wales coach Warren Gatland has named an experienced line-up for Saturday's first Test with South Africa in Durban.
Gatland resisted the temptation to include a couple of new caps in his starting XV with Scarlets scrum-half Gareth Davies and Ospreys' Bristol-bound fly-half Matthew Morgan only making the bench.
Aaron Shingler gets the nod to fill a vacancy in the back-row left by injuries to Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric but otherwise it is a side full of international quality.
A Test series in South Africa is always a tough challenge, but we are excited by it and looking forward to getting out there.
They were forced to miss the tour along with star backs Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Priestland.
Prop Gethin Jenkins will make his record 106th Test appearance alongside Adam Jones and Ken Owens in the front-row.
Gatland said: "We started the tour well on Tuesday against EP Kings but it's important we go out on Saturday and perform to the level we know we can.
"A Test series in South Africa is always a tough challenge, but we are excited by it and looking forward to getting out there.
"A lot of this side have experienced playing over here before in big games and this week is no different. It's going to be a brilliant occasion, the atmosphere will be electric and hopefully it will be a great Test match.
"As coaches we have been impressed in training over the last couple of weeks and there were a couple of tough calls to make but it's great guys like Gareth and Matthew have a chance after putting their hands up.”
Wales: Liam Williams (Scarlets); Alex Cuthbert (Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton Saints); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro); Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Alun Wyn Jones (capt, Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Taulupe Faletau (Dragons), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets).
Replacements: Matthew Rees (Blues), Paul James (Bath), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), James Hook (Perpignan), Matthew Morgan (Ospreys).