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Faletau to start for Wales v New Zealand

23 November 2017

Bath Rugby’s Taulupe Faletau and Rhys Priestland have been named in the Wales squad to face New Zealand at Principality Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 17:15.

Faletau returns to the starting line-up at number eight, whilst Priestland could earn his 50th cap for his country after being named as a replacement.

Alun Wyn Jones returns to captain Wales and is part of an unchanged pack from the opening Under Armour Series clash against Australia and he will line up alongside Jake Ball in the second row, with Aaron Shingler, Josh Navidi and Taulupe Faletau named in the back row. The front row comprises of Rob Evans, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis.

Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar partner at half-back with Owen Williams lining up alongside Scott Williams in the midfield with the Scarlets centre winning his 50th cap on Saturday.

The back-three features Leigh Halfpenny at full-back with Hallam Amos and Steff Evans, who have scored three tries between them in the opening two Under Armour Series encounters, on the wings.

"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," said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

"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."

Kristian Dacey, Wyn Jones and Leon Brown provide the front row cover on the bench. Cory Hill and Justin Tipuric, who returns from injury for his first involvement in the autumn campaign, completing the forward contingent. Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland and Jamie Roberts provide the back-line cover.

Wales team to face New Zealand 

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (72 Caps)
14. Hallam Amos (Dragons) (13 Caps)
13. Scott Williams (Scarlets) (49 Caps)
12. Owen Williams (Gloucester) (2 Caps)
11. Steff Evans (Scarlets) (3 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (Ospreys) (58 Caps)
9. Rhys Webb (Ospreys) (29 Caps);
1. Rob Evans (Scarlets) (18 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets) (51 Caps)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (25 Caps)
4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (27 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (CAPT) (Ospreys) (111 Caps)
6. Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (11 Caps)
7. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (5 Caps)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (68 Caps)

Replacements 

16. Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues) (6 Caps)
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (3 Caps)
18. Leon Brown (Dragons) (2 Caps)
19. Cory Hill (Dragons) (8 Caps)
20. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (51 Caps)
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (26 Caps)
22. Rhys Priestland (Bath) (49 Caps)
23. Jamie Roberts (Harlequins) (93 Caps)

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