Wayne Pivac has named the Wales team to play South Africa at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria this weekend (KO 4.05pm BST live on Sky Sports Action with highlights on S4C).
Tommy Reffell will win his first senior Wales cap having been selected at open-side flanker. The former U18 and U20 captain will become the 1,178th Welsh men’s international when he takes to the pitch on Saturday.
Dan Lydiate starts at blind-side flanker, his first international appearance since the match against Ireland in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations. Taulupe Faletau (No 8) completes the back row.
““Tommy Reffell is a player we’ve been watching for some time now. He’s been in very good form with Leicester Tigers and he’s match fit – which is important with our squad not having played a lot of rugby recently. We think it’s the right time for him and what a great debut to have at Loftus Versfeld.
“Dan Lydiate and George North return for Wales. We’re very pleased they’re back after long layoffs. They’ve both worked very hard and were playing well at the time of their injuries, so it was disappointing for them to be out for so long. But to have them back, and the experience they bring, it’s great for the group.
“South Africa are world champions. We’ve played them recently in the autumn but we don’t think there will be too much change. They’ve got a very big side, a six-two split on the bench. We don’t expect much change from the way they played against us previously and it’s been very effective for them. We’re expecting a very tough game.”
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Wales team to play South Africa:
15. Liam Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 78 caps)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 16 caps)
13. George North (Ospreys – 102 caps)
12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 20 caps)
11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 39 caps)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints – 100 caps), CAPT
9. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 11 caps);
1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 10 caps)
2. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 27 caps)
3. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 38 caps)
4. Will Rowlands (Dragons – 18 caps)
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 34 caps)
6. Dan Lydiate (Ospreys – 65 caps)
7. Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – uncapped)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby – 89 caps)
16. Dewi Lake (Ospreys – 5 caps)
17. Rhys Carre (Cardiff Rugby – 16 caps)
18. Tomas Francis (Ospreys 64 caps)
19. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys – 150 caps)
20. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Rugby – 30 caps)
21. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 33 caps)
22. Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys – 31 caps)
23. Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 31 caps)