Rugby Union 2 years ago

Wales make two changes for second Test

  • Wales make two changes for second Test

    COVENTRY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Rhys Patchell of Cardiff Blues in action during the LV= Cup match between Wasps and Cardiff Blues at Ricoh Arena on February 1, 2015 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Wales have rushed Rhys Patchell into the unfamiliar role of fullback in one of two starting changes for the second Test against the All Blacks.

Two-test back Patchell was called on tour as injury cover this week following the 39-21 first Test loss in Auckland. It will be the 23-year-old's first Test start.

He in effect replaces world-class winger George North, whose tour was ended by a hamstring injury suffered at Eden Park.

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Liam Williams, who impressed at fullback, shifts to the wing.

The other change for the Saturday clash in Wellington is at lock, where the experienced Luke Charteris pushes Bradley Davies to the bench and Jake Ball out of the squad.

Charteris, 33, was captain in the midweek team's humbling 40-7 loss to the Chiefs in Hamilton on Tuesday.

A second bench change is fly-half Rhys Priestland's promotion in place of versatile New Zealander Gareth Anscombe.

Anscombe was expected to be named at fullback but a hip injury ruined his chances, opening the door for Cardiff teammate and fly-half Patchell, whose two Test appearances were off the bench against Japan in 2013.

The scheduled announcement was delayed by four hours to give coach Warren Gatland a chance to assess several injuries in his squad.

Captain Sam Warburton will start his third game in the space of a week, having been part of the run-on team at Hamilton because of injuries to other loose forwards.

Wales: Rhys Patchell, Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Hallam Amos, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, Toby Faletau, Sam Warburton (capt), Ross Moriarty, Alun Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris, Samson Lee, Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins. Res: Scott Baldwin, Rob Evans, Tomas Francis, Bradley Davies, Ellis Jenkins, Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams.

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