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Priestland gets No 10 jersey

  • 05 Nov 2013
Rhys Priestland will start at flyhalf for Wales against the Boks Rhys Priestland will start at flyhalf for Wales against the Boks

Rhys Priestland will start at flyhalf ahead of James Hook for Wales' match against the Springboks on Saturday.

Hook was named among the substitutes, with Dan Biggar falling out of the match-day squad altogether. Ospreys star wing, Eli Walker, will make his debut in place of Alex Cuthbert, who is out injured. The 21-year-old Walker will start on the left, as George North shifts to the right.

Wales have nine players in their starting line-up who started against the Springboks in the 2011 World Cup pool match, the last time these teams met. Wales pushed the Boks all the way before losing 17-16. Ten of the team remain from that which started their last game against England in the Six Nations decider, which they won 30-3, and nine of them were in the starting line-up for the British & Irish Lions which hammered Australia 41-16 to clinch the series 2-1 in July this year.

'We always say we like to test ourselves against the best and Saturday is going to be just that with a huge game against South Africa first up,' said Wales coach Warren Gatland. 'They arrive in the UK off the back of an impressive Rugby Championship campaign and we know that we need to start well on Saturday. We go into the series as Six Nations champions but we are looking forward to testing ourselves against the southern hemisphere sides and showing what we are can do.'

Wales – 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Subs: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Liam Williams.

Photo: Stephane De Sakutin/Getty Images

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