Wales make 14 changes for Tonga, fullback Holmes to debut

145 Hits

Wales Cory Hill runs between Australia's Dane Haylett-Petty, right, and Michael Hooper during the rugby union international match between Wales and Australia at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

Wales Cory Hill runs between Australia's Dane Haylett-Petty, right, and Michael Hooper during the rugby union international match between Wales and Australia at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo: AP)

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Jonah Holmes will debut at fullback in a Wales side with 14 changes playing Tonga on Saturday in Cardiff.

Prop Wyn Jones, who has made nine appearances as a replacement, and captain and flanker Ellis Jenkins earned their first starts on Thursday.

Only lock Adam Beard will repeat as a starter after the 9-6 home win over Australia last weekend.

British Lions wing Liam Williams will make his 50th appearance.

Fellow Lions flyhalf Dan Biggar, scrumhalf Tomos Williams, prop Rob Evans, lock Cory Hill and Jenkins start after coming off the bench against the Wallabies.

"We have spoken about creating depth, and for us that is all about creating a squad that is full of first-teamers, everyone in the squad capable of starting," coach Warren Gatland said. "The boys this weekend have to put their hand up for the final match (against South Africa) and put pressure on the players who started last weekend."

Tonga made only one change after beating the French Barbarians 49-38 in Bordeaux last weekend. Castres lock Sitiveni Mafi has replaced Sam 'Ulufonua.

The reserves, however, retain only two from that match, backup hooker Sefo Sakalia and back Leon Fukofuka.

___

Lineups:

Wales: Jonah Holmes, Liam Williams, Tyler Morgan, Owen Watkin, Steff Evans, Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams; Seb Davies, Ellis Jenkins (captain), Aaron Wainwright, Adam Beard, Jake Ball, Leon Brown, Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones. Reserves: Ryan Elias, Rob Evans, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Ross Moriarty, Aled Davies, Rhys Patchell, Josh Adams.

Tonga: Vunga Lilo, Viliami Lolohea, Alaska Taufa, Siale Piutau, Daniel Kilioni, Kurt Morath, Sonatane Takulua; Sione Vailanu, Fotu Lokotui, Dan Faleafa, Leva Fifita, Sitiveni Mafi, Ma'afu Fia, Paula Ngauamo, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi. Reserves: Sefo Sakalia, Latu Talakai, Paea Fa'anunu, Onehunga Havili, Michael Faleafa, Leon Fukofuka, Kali Hala, Atieli Pakalani.

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia