Wales v South Africa: Williams replaces North on wing

George North and Liam Williams
Liam Williams (right) started at full-back against Fiji
Autumn internationals: Wales v South Africa
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Sat 29 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC One HD, online, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 14:00 GMT (14:30 GMT on BBC One Scotland); live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & online; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles.

Liam Williams takes over from injured George North on Wales' wing against South Africa in Cardiff on Saturday.

The Scarlets full-back is among three enforced changes.

Veteran Gethin Jenkins comes in at loose-head prop for Paul James and Scott Baldwin takes over from Richard Hibbard at hooker.

James (Bath) and Hibbard (Gloucester) are ruled out because the Wales game takes place outside the globally-agreed autumn Tests window.

Williams a fantastic replacement – Warburton

On the bench James King replaces fellow Osprey Justin Tipuric as back-row cover.

Scrum-half Rhys Webb (groin), who came off injured in Wales' 34-16 defeat by New Zealand last weekend, and full-back Leigh Halfpenny who had been nursing a shoulder injury are both fit to face the Springboks.

North left the fray with what coach Warren Gatland described as a "severe laceration" and has undergone concussion testing this week.

Scarlets star Williams now has the chance to redeem himself after Wales' second tour Test defeat by South Africa in June.

Williams apologised after conceding a late penalty try that denied Wales a historic first away win over the Springboks.

In a team announcement statement Gatland said: "We have had a couple of changes forced upon us, with the injury to George (North) and with Paul (James) and Richard (Hibbard) returning to their clubs but we have named what we think is a very strong side.

Last six Wales v South Africa meetings
8 November 2008: Wales 15-20 South Africa - Millennium Stadium - report
13 November 2010: Wales 25-29 South Africa - Millennium Stadium - report
11 September 2011: South Africa 17-16 Wales - Wellington - report
9 November 2013: Wales 15-24 South Africa - Millennium Stadium - report
14 June 2014: South Africa 38-16 Wales - Durban - report
21 June 2014: South Africa 31-30 Wales - Nelspruit - report

"Last weekend was a very intense, physical encounter. The guys were disappointed but we have come in this [Thursday] morning, the squad are feeling fresh and the focus is looking ahead to Saturday and the Test against the Springboks.

"As coaches we will be asking for the same effort, intensity and desire as last week and we want a repeat of that... on Saturday."

With James and Hibbard absent and prop Nicky Smith injured, hooker Emyr Phillips and props Aaron Jarvis and Rhodri Jones are the front-row bench cover.

Scarlets' Jones was called in as Smith was released back to Ospreys to start his recovery from on a torn pectoral muscle that will rule him out for up to four months.

Wales coach Warren Gatland talks to the media ahead of the Test against South Africa

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has made five changes to his starting XV with prop Tendai Mtawarira and hooker Bismarck du Plessis also included.

Full-back Willie le Roux and wingers Cornal Hendricks and Lwazi Mvovo return to the Springboks side with JP Pietersen, Bryan Habana and Johan Goosen unavailable because they too are ruled out by the autumn Test window rules.

Wales go into the game having only beaten Fiji this autumn and having lost to Australia and New Zealand.

The defeat by world champions New Zealand was Wales' 26th in 27 games against the All Blacks, Australia and South Africa since Gatland took charge in 2007.

Defence coach Shaun Edwards has hit back at suggestions that Gatland is under pressure because of his record against southern hemisphere sides.


Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (unattached), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), James King (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets).

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