South Africa v Wales: Adam Jones to win 100th cap
South Africa v Wales: Adam Jones will win his 100th Test cap against South Africa in Durban on Saturday
Adam Jones wins his 100th senior Test cap after Warren Gatland hands him a start for Wales’ match against South Africa in Durban on Saturday.
The Ospreys veteran, whose problems with the change in scrum engagement saw him finish the Six Nations on the bench, has been give the nod for his 95th Wales appearance ahead of one of the Pro12’s best scrummagers Samson Lee.
Injuries to key forwards have forced head coach Gatland to rework his pack with Scarlets hooker Ken Owens continuing ahead of Matthew Rees, with Cardiff Blues loosehead Gethin Jenkins selected ahead of Paul James, despite concerns over the likelihood of him being yellow carded by referee Romain Poite.
Tour captain Alun Wyn Jones is partnered in the second row by new Racing Metro recruit Luke Charteris.
Dan Lydiate backed up his appearance against the Eastern Province Kings on Tuesday to keep his place on the blindside with Scarlets flanker Aaron Shingler on the openside and Newport Gwent Dragons wrecking ball Taulupe Faletau at number 8.
Gatland has made no surprise selections in the backline with formidable midfield duo Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies continuing their partnership with Dan Biggar resuming his half-back partnership with scrum-half Mike Phillips.
With Leigh Halfpenny out for the summer, Liam Williams continues at full-back after his impressive end to the Six Nations with familiar fliers Alex Cuthbert and George North on the right and left wings respectively, despite concerns over North who was diagnosed with a “mild virus” earlier in the week.
After impressive performances in recent outings Scarlets scrum-half Gareth Davies—the Pro12’s leading try scorer—could make win his first Test cap if he comes off the bench while the same honour could be bestowed upon Bristol-bound young utility back Matthew Morgan.
Lock Ian Evans, versatile back-rower Josh Turnbull and utility back James Hook complete the replacements bench.
South Africa: Willie le Roux (Free State Cheetahs); Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs), JP Pietersen (Natal Sharks), Jan Serfontein (Bulls), Bryan Habana (Toulon); Morne Steyn (Stade Français), Fourie du Preez (Suntory Sungoliath); Gurthrö Steenkamp (Toulouse), Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), Bakkies Botha (Toulon), Victor Matfield (Bulls, captain), Francois Louw (Bath Rugby), Willem Alberts (Sharks), Duane Vermeulen (Stormers).
Replacements: Schalk Brits (Saracens), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), Lood de Jager (Cheetahs), Schalk Burger (Stormers); Ruan Pienaar (Ulster), Johan Goosen (Cheetahs), Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks).
Wales: Liam Williams (Scarlets); Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton Saints); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, captain), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Replacements: Matthew Rees (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Bath Rugby), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), James Hook (Gloucester), Matthew Morgan (Bristol).