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Wales team to face New Zealand

  • Sam Warburton has recovered to start against world champions New Zealand
  • The return of the skipper is one of five changes to the team beaten by England last month
  • Second row Alun Wyn Jones will win his 100th cap for Wales at Eden Park
Wales captain Sam Warburton has recovered from a shoulder injury to start against world champions New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday.

Wales will start with a team boasting 760 caps, compared to the 580 for the home side. And, adding in 20 Tests for the British and Irish Lions from six of the Welsh players, it is the visitors who have an edge over the world champions in one department at least.

“We are under no illusions how tough the Test series will be against the back-to-back world champions but the players are also aware how important this tour is,” head coach Warren Gatland said.

“It’s an opportunity for a couple of boys to start and we are bringing in experience with Gethin, Ken and Bradley.

“In the midfield it’s nice to have that experienced combination back and the players who move to the bench will still have an impact on game day.”

New Zealand are unbeaten at Eden Park since 1994 and the match will be their first since beating Australia 34-17 in the 2015 World Cup final.

Head coach Steve Hansen has named a side showing six changes from that victory at Twickenham in October.

Wales team to face New Zealand: Liam Williams (Scarlets), George North (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, captain), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets).