Gatland to rest Lions for Wales match with Tonga

Warren Gatland will think of the bigger picture when he rests a number of his British & Irish Lions stars for Wales' clash with Tonga this weekend. [more]

Gatland to rest Lions for Wales match with Tonga

Warren Gatland will think of the bigger picture when he rests a number of his British & Irish Lions stars for Wales’ clash with Tonga this weekend.

Wales had nine players in their starting line up for last Saturday’s 40-6 win over Argentina who featured on the successful Lions tour to Australia over the summer.

George North was just one of those who starred with a try-scoring performance, while fellow Lions Mike Phillips and Toby Faletau also touched down and Leigh Halfpenny racked up 20 points from the tee.

Wales next face Tonga on Friday before the visit of Australia at the end of the month gives Gatland and many of his Lions a chance to reignite their summer rivalry.

And with the games coming thick and fast, the coach admits resting some of his players this weekend will hopefully stave off injuries further down the line.

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“The philosophy is always what we planned, and we will make a number of changes," said Gatland.

"We have a six-day turnaround. Probably guys who came off the bench who made a great impact for us [against Argentina] will get a chance to start [against Tonga].

"We will have to see what happens in terms of the knocks and bumps we have got.

"Probably three or four key players, players who have had a long summer with the Lions, and we probably need to give them a break next week and freshen them up.

"One so they are fresh for their clubs and hopefully they stay injury-free for us in the Six Nations."
 

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