LionsWatch: Three Lions return for Wales against Argentina

The return of three British & Irish Lions is a big boost for Wales after head coach Rob Howley named his side to take on Argentina on Saturday. [more]

LionsWatch: Three Lions return for Wales against Argentina

The return of three British & Irish Lions is a big boost for Wales after head coach Rob Howley named his side to take on Argentina on Saturday.

Sam Warburton, Alun Wyn Jones and Jonathan Davies are all fit to return to the starting XV to take on the Pumas after missing last weekend’s defeat against Australia.

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In total Howley has made six personnel changes from the team that slipped to defeat against the Wallabies as he seeks a response in Cardiff on Saturday evening.

Warburton – skipper of the Lions in 2013 – returns at blindside flanker but fellow Lion Gethin Jenkins retains the captain’s armband.

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Jones is back in the second row alongside Luke Charteris while Jonathan Davies – who was a late withdrawal from the Wallaby clash – returns to partner his clubmate Scott Williams in midfield.

Other changes include Tomas Francis who replaces Samson Lee at tighthead prop while Liam Williams is passed fit to take his place on the left wing and Gareth Davies replaces the injured Rhys Webb at scrum-half.

“We’ve made a number of changes, some of which are selection based and injury enforced but we are also able to select from a number of players returning from injury as well,” said Wales Head Coach Howley.

“In the backline Liam (Williams) and Jon (Davies) are both back and available and come into the side. We were pleased with Leigh’s performance at full-back last week and we feel this is the best back three combination for this game. 

“Jon has recovered from his tight hamstring and will link up with Scott in midfield and it’s a blow to lose Rhys (Webb), but Gareth (Davies) is an excellent scrum-half as he has shown on many occasions in the No 9 jersey and he will see it as a great opportunity. 

“We’ve made a number of changes in the pack, Tomas Francis starts at tight-head and it’s great to welcome Alun Wyn Jones back into the side after what has been a really tough few weeks for him and his family.”

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales make six changes for @UnderArmourUK Series match v @lospumas #UASeries

— Welsh Rugby Union ? (@WelshRugbyUnion) November 10, 2016

Dan Biggar continues at fly-half and will win his 50th cap this weekend while Jenkins will continue to lead the side in what will be a record breaking appearance for the loose-head prop as he becomes the world’s most capped front-row forward of all time as he makes his 133rd international appearance (128th cap for Wales plus 5 British & Irish Lions caps). 

“Sam (Warburton) came through the match for the Blues well last weekend and comes into the side at blindside,” added Howley. 

“With Sam returning, we have spoken to him and we feel it’s best for him to focus purely on his performance and role on Saturday, leaving the captaincy with Gethin (Jenkins).

“In terms of achievements, it’s great to see Dan win his 50th cap and also it’s a huge honour for Gethin as he becomes the world’s most capped front-row forward.”

For Argentina, Juan Martin Hernandez, Pablo Matera and Ramiro Moyano have all returned to the starting XV for the clash after missing out in their victory over Japan last weekend. 

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon)
14. George North (Northampton Saints)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets)
12. Scott Williams (Scarlets)
11. Liam Williams (Scarlets)
10. Dan Biggar (Ospreys)
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets)

1. Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys)
5. Luke Charteris (Bath)
6. Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)
8. Ross Moriarty (Gloucester)

16. Scott Baldwin (Ospreys)
17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys)
18. Samson Lee (Scarlets)
19. Cory Hill (Dragons)
20. James King (Ospreys)
21. Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues)
22. Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues)
23. Jamie Roberts (Harlequins)

Argentina: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Moroni, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Juan Martín Hernández, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (capt.), 1 Lucas Noguera Paz

Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Leonardo Senatore, 20 Tomás Lezana, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Santiago Cordero

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