RUGBY : Wales coach Warren Gatland has made six changes from the team that edged past Samoa for Saturday’s Millennium Stadium clash against Argentina.
Wales coach Warren Gatland has made six changes from the team that edged past Samoa for Saturday’s Millennium Stadium clash against Argentina.
As expected, 21-year-old Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies has secured a place in midfield alongside Jamie Roberts, replacing nose injury victim Tom Shanklin.
Roberts moves to outside centre to accommodate Davies, while there are recalls for a quartet of 2009 British and Irish Lions, with wing Shane Williams, fly-half Stephen Jones, hooker Matthew Rees and flanker Martyn Williams all featuring after being rested against Samoa.
The one slight surprise sees scrum-half Gareth Cooper preferred to Dwayne Peel. Cooper started against New Zealand earlier this month, but Peel was among Wales’ best players during the 17-13 Samoa win.
Davies for Shanklin is the only change from the side beaten by New Zealand 10 days ago.
On the bench, there is an opportunity for uncapped Dragons flanker Dan Lydiate, while Ospreys centre Andrew Bishop – called into the squad as cover for Shanklin – is also a replacement.
Gatland, though, has resisted any temptation to tinker with his front row in terms of the props.
Gethin Jenkins and Paul James faced a severe examination from the Samoan scrum last Friday night, with the South Sea Islanders’ former Saracens tighthead Census Johnston causing particular problems.
And life is not about to get any easier for the Wales scrum, as Argentina are widely regarded as world rugby’s most destructive scrummaging unit.