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Ellis Bevan to make Wales debut against South Africa

International | 18th June 2024

Senior men’s head coach Warren Gatland has named eight Cardiff Rugby players in his squad to face South Africa away at Twickenham Stadium in the Qatar Airways Cup on Saturday 22 June (KO 2pm live on Sky Sports and S4C).

James Botham, Ellis Bevan, Mason Grady and Cameron Winnett are selected in the starting XV, with Evan Lloyd, Keiron Assiratti, Mackenzie Martin Martin and Jacob Beetham on the bench. 

Hooker Dewi Lake will captain the side for this match.

Scrum-half Bevan will make his senior international debut on Saturday becoming the 1,203rd men’s player to represent Wales.

Joining Lake in the front row are Gareth Thomas (loose-head prop) and Henry Thomas (tight-head prop).

Dragons’ duo Matthew Screech and Ben Carter are selected in the second row.

Taine Plumtree is named at blind-side flanker and will win his third cap having last featured for Wales against England at Twickenham Stadium in August 2023.

Botham, who was called up to the squad on Monday, starts at open-side flanker. Jac Morgan has been released from the squad due to a hamstring injury suffered in Ospreys URC quarter-final defeat at Munster and will not take part in any of Wales’ fixtures this summer.

Aaron Wainwright completes the back row at No. 8.

Sam Costelow is at fly- half. Grady and Owen Watkin pair up in the midfield.

Liam Williams, named on the wing, makes his first appearance for Wales since Rugby World Cup 2023. Rio Dyer is also on the wing, with Winnett at full-back.

There are three possible debutants among Wales’ replacements for the match.

Joining Eddie James and Beetham on the bench is the uncapped James Ratti (Ospreys) who was called up to the squad this morning. Able to cover second row and across the back row, Ratti – like James and Beetham – would win his first senior international cap if called on as a replacement this weekend.

Gareth Davies provides cover at scrum-half. Evan Lloyd, Kemsley Mathias, Assiratti and Martin are the other forwards named as replacements.

Gatland said: “We have our backs to the wall a little bit this week, but we’re really excited about the challenge on Saturday.

“Facing the world champions at Twickenham Stadium will be a great occasion and we’re relishing the opportunity to get out there and put in a performance.

“We have a big week ahead of us with this young squad, but the coaches and I have been very happy with the effort that’s going in.

“There’s a huge amount of potential in this group and the next five weeks will be extremely important for us in terms of wanting to develop this team.”

15. Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – 5 caps)
14. Liam Williams (Kubota Spears – 89 caps)
13. Owen Watkin (Ospreys / Gweilch – 38 caps)
12. Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – 11 caps)
11. Rio Dyer (Dragons / Dreigiau – 19 caps)
10. Sam Costelow (Scarlets – 12 caps)
9. Ellis Bevan (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – uncapped / heb gap)
1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys / Gweilch – 30 caps)
2. Dewi Lake (Ospreys / Gweilch – 12 caps)
3. Henry Thomas (Scarlets – 4 caps)
4. Ben Carter (Dragons / Dreigiau – 11 caps)
5. Matthew Screech (Dragons / Dreigiau – 1 cap)
6. Taine Plumtree (Scarlets – 2 caps)
7. James Botham (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – 10 caps)
8. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons / Dreigiau – 48 caps)


16. Evan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – 2 caps)
17. Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets – 2 caps)
18. Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – 6 caps)
19. James Ratti (Ospreys / Gweilch – uncapped / heb gap)
20. Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – 3 caps)
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets – 76 caps)
22. Eddie James (Scarlets – uncapped / heb gap)
23. Jacob Beetham (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – uncapped / heb gap)