Parkes Debuts as Gatland Names Squad for South Africa

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SWANSEA, WALES - OCTOBER 07: Hadleigh Parkes of the Scarlets in action during the Guinness PRO14 Round 6 match between Ospreys and Scarlets at The Liberty Stadium on October 07, 2017 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Hadleigh Parkes debuts in a squad stricken by injury and absent of most of it’s English based players. Warren Gatland has made five changes to the side that faced New Zealand as he battles with plenty of absentees.

Notable Absentees

Jake Ball and Justin Tipuric were released by Wales following a shoulder and quadraceps injury respectively.

Owen Williams and Jamie Roberts have not been granted permission to play by their clubs. Bath have allowed Talaupe Faletau to play, despite a fine of £60,000 being a likely penalty for doing so.

Sevens specialist Sam Cross and scrum half Gareth Davies also miss out on the matchday 23.

Hadleigh Parkes Debuts Amongst Five Changes

  1. Rob Evans
  2. Kristian Dacey
  3. Scott Andrews
  4. Cory Hill
  5. Alun Wyn Jones
  6. Aaron Shingler
  7. Josh Navidi
  8. Talaupe Faletau
  9. Aled Davies
  10. Dan Biggar
  11. Steff Evans
  12. Hadleigh Parkes
  13. Scott Williams
  14. Hallum Amos
  15. Leigh Halfpenny

Replacements

16. Elliot Dee

17. Wyn Jones

18. Rhodri Jones

19. Seb Davies

20. Dan Lydiate

21. Rhys Webb

22. Rhys Patchell

23. Owen Watkin

Squad Verdict

  • Dacey and Andrews come into the front row in what will be an extremely tough test against a big South African unit. They will have to perform well to keep par and will be under the watchful eye of the Welsh fans.
  • Aled Davies partners Dan Biggar in what could be a future half back pairing. With Rhys Webb ineligible following the end of this season Aled and Gareth Davies will battle it out for the starting nine jersey with Aled hoping that this weekends performance can help him on his way.

Dan Biggar required four caps by the end of the season to avoid becoming ineligible like      his Ospreys teammate Rhys Webb. Providing he doesn’t get injured between now and        the start of Saturday’s test, he’ll get those four caps and will be set for a future Wales        career.

  • Hadleigh Parkes debts at 12. New Zealand born, Hadleigh Parkes only became eligible for Wales selection for this game. The Scarlets centre has shown solid form this season in the Pro14, but his selection raised eyebrows.  He can now go out and hopefully show that his selection is worthy.
  • Injury call up Rhodri Jones will hope to add to his 15 caps from the bench this weekend. Having not featured since the loss to England at Twickenham in 2016 he’ll be set out to try and regain a regular slot in the Welsh side.
  • Seb Davies will finally get a chance to pack down in the second row following his selection on the bench. He has only featured at number eight so far this Autumn, a move that has disappointed man Wales fans.

How Wales Defeat South Africa

Wales have to cut the handling errors and unforced errors down. Wales have had far too many of them this year and it cost them dearly against the Australians. If they cut them right down then there’ll be a chance to gain some momentum going forward, something that hasn’t come in enough quantity this Autumn.

The forwards must carry. Apart from Josh Navidi no forward has really made an impact around the gain line. Maybe this is down to the Welsh attacking plan set out by Howley and McBryde, but it’s certainly something Wales need to do more of.

Wales will have to attack from set pieces. Scrums have been very weak and i suspect they’ll become under further scrutiny this Saturday against a strong South African pack. However, Wales have under-utilised their line-out. Shingler offers a reliable source of ball and Wales have created tries when attacking from them.

 

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