Lydiate to lead Wales in Test warm-up
June 8, 2014
© PA Photos
Dan Lydiate will captain Wales as they take on the Eastern Province Kings on Tuesday in the first match of their tour to South Africa.
While lock Alun-Wyn Jones will lead the Test side in the absence of Sam Warburton, who misses the two-Test tour because of shoulder problems, Lydiate will skipper the team for Tuesday's warm-up at Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The flanker has himself only just recovered from a hamstring injury as head coach Warren Gatland is forced to name a new-look back-row.
The starting XV includes three uncapped players, with the highly-rate Matthew Morgan appearing at full-back, Steven Shingler taking the inside centre berth and Jordan Williams lining up on the wing. Gareth Davies is the only uncapped player named among the replacements after impressing for the Wales Possibles in last month's trial match.
With Warburton and Justin Tipuric both injured, joining Lydiate in the back-row are Josh Turnbull and No.8 Dan Baker.
"It's an opportunity to see a number of squad pull on the Wales jersey and represent their country and see how they handle the game and the pressure," said Gatland. "We know how tough the next few weeks are going to be and that starts on Tuesday and we have to be prepared for a big game and hit the ground running."
South Africa began their preparations for next weekend's Test against Wales by dispatching a World XV 47-13 on Saturday.
Squad to face Eastern Province Kings
Wales: 15 Matthew Morgan; 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Steven Shingler, 11 Jordan Williams; 10 James Hook, 9 Rhodri Williams; 8 Dan Baker, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Dan Lydiate (c), 5 Ian Evans, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 George North, 23 Liam Williams.
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