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Two Changes to Wales Team for Second Test

24th June 2010

Wales make two changes to their starting line-up following defeat to New Zealand in Dunedin last weekend for Saturday's second Test at the Waikato Stadium, Hamilton (kick-off 19.35 local time).

Wales make two changes to their starting line-up following defeat to New Zealand in Dunedin last weekend for Saturday's second Test at the Waikato Stadium, Hamilton (kick-off 19.35 local time).

Osprey Dan Biggar replaces the 90-times capped Scarlet and British Lions outside half Stephen Jones, who moves to the bench allowing Biggar to win his sixth international cap and make his third start for his country.

Scarlet Jonathan Davies replaces injured Osprey Andrew Bishop (hand) at outside centre in the only other change to the backline, with head coach Warren Gatland saying 'same again' to the entire forward pack which achieved parity with the All Blacks for a major part of last week's Test before the opposition pulled away on the scoreboard part way through the second half.

There are a further four changes on the bench with Dragons wing Will Harries and Blues scrum half Richie Rees joining Jones in providing cover for the backs and Ospreys prop Craig Mitchell comes in for the Blues John Yapp, who turned an ankle in training this week.

Ospreys hooker Huw Bennett, Blues lock Deiniol Jones and Scarlets flanker Rob McCusker are all retained as replacements with Scarlets’ tyro Tavis Knoyle missing out this week.

That leaves just Scarlets hooker Ken Owens and Ospreys lock Ian Gough as the only two players from a squad of 27 left with no opportunity for game-time on tour.

"This is a magnificent place to tour and we have received a wonderful welcome in Hamilton after being involved in a tough game against New Zealand last week," said Gatland.

"There is a lot of mutual respect amongst the players and the people of New Zealand and Wales and we are two nations who love our rugby, but you don't get respect in this country, collectively or individually, unless you perform on the pitch here.

"Kiwis talk fondly about the Welshmen involved in the 1971 Lions tour because they won the series, they talk glowingly about players like Ryan Jones who made an impact on the pitch on the 2005 Lions tour.

"We want to leave here with our heads held high after Saturday and with the respect of the New Zealand nation and we will only do that if we perform as individuals and collectively on the pitch.

"This team has an opportunity to create a reputation in this country that will last into the Rugby World Cup next year and beyond and we need to take that opportunity."

WALES: Lee Byrne; Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Tom Prydie; Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Paul James, Matthew Rees, Adam Jones, Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Gavin Thomas, Ryan Jones (capt)

Replacements: Huw Bennett, Craig Mitchell, Deiniol Jones, Rob McCusker, Richard Rees, Stephen Jones, Will Harries


Leigh HALFPENNY (CARDIFF BLUES) Date of Birth: 22.12.88, Swansea Ht: 5'10" (1.77m) / Wt: 13st 1lbs (83kgs) Full International Record: 16 caps (W 6, L 9; 53pts - 7T, 7P) Cap Number: 1060 Debut: v South Africa, 2008 Position: Wing Previous Region/Club: Ospreys Academy, Blues Academy, Neath, Cardiff 2008: SA(1p), C(2t), NZ 2009: S(1t), E(1t, 1p), F, NZ, Sam(1t 1p), Arg(2p), A(1p) 2010: E*, S(1t), F(1t), I, SA, NZ

Jamie ROBERTS (CARDIFF BLUES) Date of Birth: 08.11.86, Newport Ht: 6'4" (1.93m) / Wt: 16st 10lbs (107kgs) Full International Record: 23 caps (W 10, L 13; 5pts - 1T) Cap Number: 1057 Debut: v Scotland, 2008 Position: Centre Previous Region/Club: Blues Academy, Cardiff 2008: S, SA(1t), SA, SA, C*, NZ, A 2010: E, S, F, I, It, SA 2009: S, E, F, It, I*, NZ, Sam, Arg, A, NZ

Bradley DAVIES (CARDIFF BLUES) Date of Birth: 09.01.87, Llantrisant Ht: 6'1" (1.98m) / Wt: 18st 1lb (155kgs) Full International Record: 12 caps (W 6, L 6) Cap Number: 1065 Debut: v Scotland (rep), 2009 Position: Lock Previous Region/Club: blues Academy, Llantrisant, Cardiff 2009: S*, It*, C, NZ*, Sam* 2010: E*, S*, F, I, It, SA, NZ

Deiniol JONES (CARDIFF BLUES) Date of Birth: 18.11.77, Carmarthen Ht: 6'5" (1.96m) / Wt: 17st 8lbs (112kgs) Full International Record: 9 caps (W 6, L 3) Cap Number: 981 Debut: v Samoa, 2000 Position: Lock Previous Region/Club: Bath, Ebbw Vale, Bridgend, Celtic Warriors 2000: Sam 2003: Rom* 2004: SA 2008: S*, It* 2009: C, USA 2010: F, SA

20 Richard REES (CARDIFF BLUES) Date of Birth: 21.05.83, Swansea Ht: 5'11" (1.80m) / Wt: 13st 1lb (83kgs) Full International Record: 4 caps (W 1, L 3) Cap Number: 1072 Debut: v England (rep) 2010 Position: Scrum Half Previous Region/Club: Ospreys, London Irish 2010: E*, S*, F, I