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Wales change three and hand Louis Rees-Zammit an exciting new role

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Wayne Pivac has named a Wales team to take on Argentina on Saturday in Cardiff that shows three changes from last Saturday’s bashing by the All Blacks. Alex Cuthbert, Dillon Lewis and Dan Lydiate have all been included in a side that has the additional intrigue of a start for Louis Rees-Zammit at full-back.

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Cuthbert’s inclusion on the right wing has resulted in the switching of Rees-Zammit to full-back and Gareth Anscombe, last week’s No15 at the expense of the injured Leigh Halfpenny, will now start at out-half with Rhys Priestland dropping to the bench.

In the pack, Lewis is promoted from the bench for Tomas Francis, who drops out of the matchday 23. Sam Wainwright is the sub tighthead on this occasion. Meanwhile, Lydiate takes over from the injured Tommy Reffell, being chosen at blindside with skipper Justin Tipuric switching into Reffell’s No7 shirt.

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On the bench, record caps holder Alun Wyn Jones has been excluded but there is selection for Rhodri Jones, Ben Carter and Jac Morgan. Pivac said: “Last week we had Leigh Halfpenny unavailable at the last minute and we had trained a certain way so we went with Gareth Anscombe at full-back who has done that before at this level.

“We are back to Gareth at ten and we have Louis Rees-Zammit at full-back. He has trained there the entire week. He has looked good in training and it’s something we have explored in the background, so it will be good information going forwards with the Six Nations around the corner and the Rugby World Cup.

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“Dillon had done well in South Africa. This is probably the last opportunity to give guys starts and learn as much as we can. Both Dillon and Dan Lydiate have trained well. There are some changes among the replacements. There are some niggles that players pick up in games and in training, so some guys have been left out to get themselves 100 per cent right for next week.

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“Some boys we want to have a look at across the competition so in the case of Nicky Smith and Rhodri Jones, that is certainly what we wanted to do the first couple of games. We saw last week what Argentina are capable of. They are a very big team, very strong up front. They have expanded their attacking game and they took an excellent try against England from the set play.

“They have knocked over some big scalps in the last 18 months, New Zealand being one of them. They are going to be a big challenge but one we’re looking forward to. After last week’s performance, we need a reaction from our team.”

Wales (vs Argentina, Saturday)
15. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 20 caps)
14. Alex Cuthbert (Ospreys – 52 caps)
13. George North (Ospreys – 106 caps)
12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 24 caps)
11. Rio Dyer (Dragons – 1 cap)
10. Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys – 33 caps)
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 37 caps)
1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 14 caps)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets – 83 caps)
3. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 42 caps)
4. Will Rowlands (Dragons – 22 caps)
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 38 caps)
6. Dan Lydiate (Ospreys – 68 caps)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys – 86 caps) captain
8. Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby – 92 caps)

Replacements
16. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 31 caps)
17. Rhodri Jones (Dragons – 21 caps)
18. Sam Wainwright (Saracens – 2 caps)
19. Ben Carter (Dragons – 6 caps)
20. Jac Morgan (Ospreys – 3 caps)
21. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 15 caps)
22. Rhys Priestland (Cardiff Rugby – 53 caps)
23. Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 34 caps)

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