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Jones returns to lead much-changed Wales against All Blacks

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones

Alun Wyn Jones returns to captain Wales as Warren Gatland makes 12 changes to his starting line-up to face New Zealand on Saturday.

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Jones was rested for a 13-6 victory over Georgia, but the lock is among a dozen players coming back into the team to face the world champions at the Principality Stadium.

Gatland has named the same pack that lined up for the defeat against Australia, while Steff Evans and Hallam Amos start on the wings in the absence of Liam Williams and Alex Cuthbert.

Owen and Scott Williams will form the centre pairing, the latter winning his 50th cap.

Wales head coach Gatland said: “It’s great to name an unchanged pack from the Australia match, we were pleased with a lot of aspects of our second half performance in that match so we are looking to build on that on Saturday.

“We have a couple of injuries in the backline but we also have players on form starting. Steff Evans and Hallam Amos are both on form and we are excited to see what they can do.

“We have spoken heavily about opportunity this autumn and there is no greater opportunity than lining up against the world champions.”

Wales:  Leigh Halfpenny, Hallam Amos, Scott Williams, Owen Williams, Steff Evans, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb;  Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Aaron Shingler, Josh Navidi, Taulupe Faletau.

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Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Wyn Jones, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, Justin Tipuric, Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland, Jamie Roberts.

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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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FEATURE Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma
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