Jones captains new-look Wales against Fiji

Tuesday, 16 November 2010 23:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

LONDON (Reuters) - Flanker Ryan Jones will captain a Wales team against Fiji on Friday showing a probable nine changes from the starting XV beaten by South Africa last weekend.

The changes include a first test start in three years for Aled Brew, who replaces winger Shane Williams after he dislocated his shoulder in the 29-25 defeat by the world champions in Cardiff.

Flanker Dan Lydiate is also included, as long as he overcomes an ankle problem, to replace Martyn Williams.

Teenage wing George North, who scored two tries on his debut against the Springboks, retains his place while uncapped 20-yearold Tonga-born flanker Toby Faletau is included among an otherwise experienced-looking group of replacements.

Having lost to Australia and South Africa, Wales will be on their guard against a Fiji side who bundled them out of the World Cup three years ago.

“We must maintain our focus this week. If we even cast an eye beyond Fiji to the World Cup or even just to the game a week later (against New Zealand) we could be left counting the cost,” coach Warren Gatland said in a statement.

“We know all too well that the Fijians bring an extra dimension to their game when they face Wales and there is no doubt they will have targeted us as a game they think they can win.

“We have been self-critical this week about our failure to close out matches when the finishing line might be in sight, no less than was evident against South Africa. We need to be ruthless against Fiji and, with a few changes made to the starting line-up, more organised than ever.”

Team: 15-Lee Byrne; 14-George North, 13-James Hook, 12-Andrew Bishop, 11-Aled Brew; 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Richie Rees; 8-Jonathan Thomas, 7-Dan Lydiate/Martyn Williams, 6-Ryan Jones (captain), 5-Deiniol Jones, 4-Ian Gough, 3-Adam Jones, 2-Huw Bennett, 1-Paul James.

Replacements: 16-Richard Hibbard, 17-John Yapp, 18-Bradley Davies, 19-Toby Faletau, 20-Mike Phillips, 21-Stephen Jones, 22-Tom Shanklin.