Wales recalls first-choice pack for All Blacks
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) Wales recalled its frontline forwards and kept faith with playmaker Owen Williams at inside center for the rugby test against New Zealand on Saturday.
Welsh hopes of a first victory over the All Blacks since 1953 have been hit by injuries to fullback Liam Williams and center Jonathan Davies during games against Georgia and Australia this month. Star winger George North was already out injured.
Wales coach Warren Gatland selected the pack that fronted up well against Australia in a 29-21 loss on Nov. 8 and was rested completely for the 13-6 win over Georgia last weekend.
In the backs, Owen Williams partners Scott Williams, who wins his 50th cap, in midfield as Gatland looks for a more expansive game out wide. Hard-running veteran center Jamie Roberts is among the reserves.
Winger Hallam Amos was the replacement for Liam Williams and Rhys Webb was preferred to Gareth Davies at scrumhalf. Amos, Scott Williams and Webb were the only survivors from the team that started against Georgia.
Wales has lost 29 straight tests against the All Blacks.
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, Hallam Amos, Scott Williams, Owen Williams, Steff Evans, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Taulupe Faletau, Josh Navidi, Aaron Shingler, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Jake Ball, Tomas Francis, Ken Owens, Rob Evans. Reserves: Kristian Dacey, Wyn Jones, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, Justin Tipuric, Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland, Jamie Roberts.