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Paul James to face All Blacks

18 November 2014

Bath Rugby loosehead Paul James has been named in the experienced Wales side to face New Zealand on Saturday, with centre Jonathan Davies the only personnel change to the team that started against Australia in the opening Dove Men Series clash.

Davies comes into the midfield to partner Jamie Roberts whilst Warren Gatland also calls upon the returning Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny in the backline.

Halfpenny comes back into the side after missing the Fiji match and links up with try-scorers from that game, George North and Alex Cuthbert in the back-three. Ospreys half-back pair Webb and Biggar are named at nine and 10 respectively.

The pack features the same eight that started against the Wallabies. James, Richard Hibbard and Samson Lee comprise the front row. Alun Wyn Jones and Jake Ball start in the second row with captain Sam Warburton, who missed the clash against Fiji, coming back into the side alongside Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau.

"It's pretty much the same side that played against Australia and it's a boost to have a few players back from injury,” said Gatland. "It's one of the most experienced teams we have put out. We are expecting another clinical performance from the All Blacks. We need to match their intensity and aggression."

Ospreys pair Scott Baldwin and Nicky Smith are joined by Rhodri Jones as front-row cover on the bench with Luke Charteris and Justin Tipuric completing the forward contingent. Mike Phillips, James Hook and Liam Williams provide cover for the backline.

WALES TEAM TO PLAY NEW ZEALAND:

Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton Saints), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Paul James (Bath Rugby), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Unattached), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, CAPT), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), James Hook (Gloucester), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

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