South Africa v Wales: Warren Gatland praises Adam Jones

First Test: South Africa v Wales

  • Venue: Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban
  • Date: Saturday, 14 June
  • Kick-off: 16:00 BST

Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and the BBC Sport website

Coach Warren Gatland has praised Adam Jones for the way the Wales prop has responded to youthful rivalry for his position.

Jones makes his 100th Test appearance when Wales take on South Africa in Durban on Saturday.

Five of those caps came in British and Irish Lions Tests.

"For someone who's used to being a number one selection, he's responded to the challenge of a couple of youngsters," said Gatland.

Scarlets tight-head prop Samson Lee, 21, is on the bench at Growthpoint Kings Park.

Wales' tour of South Africa

10 June: 34-12 v Eastern Province Kings

14 June: First Test, Durban

21 June: Second Test, Nelspruit

Another Scarlet, Rhodri Jones, 22, and Adam Jones' fellow Osprey Aaron Jarvis, 27, were omitted from the match-day squad.

Gatland says 33-year-old Jones, impressed for Wales Probables v Wales Possibles on Friday, 30 May, after which the tour party was announced.

"He's been a cornerstone for a long time and he looks in good shape at the moment," said Gatland.

"He played very well a couple of weeks ago in that trial game. He's had a great career and hopefully he can reward that with a really good performance on Saturday."

Adam Jones' Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones will lead Wales in the first Test against the Springboks.

The Wales and British and Irish Lions lock said: "It's the strength of the player rather than what position you are. Whether people question your game, whether it be law changes or form; it's the strength of the guy that he can keep doing what he's doing."

Adam Jones is is joined in the front row by Gethin Jenkins, who will be winning his 106th Wales cap, and Scarlets hooker Ken Owens.

Teams

Wales: Liam Williams, Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North,; Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Ken Owens, Adam Jones, Luke Charteris, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Dan Lydiate, Aaron Shingler, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Paul James, Samson Lee, Ian Evans, Josh Turnbull, Gareth Davies, James Hook, Matthew Morgan.

South Africa: Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein, Bryan Habana; Morné Steyn, Fourie du Preez; Gurthrö Steenkamp, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield (capt), Francois Louw, Willem Alberts, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Schalk Brits, Tendai Mtawarira, Coenie Oosthuizen, Lood de Jager, Schalk Burger, Ruan Pienaar, Johan Goosen Lwazi Mvovo.