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Davies ready for all-Welsh battle

Jonathan Davies is braced for a "fiercely-contested" encounter when many of Wales' top players go head-to-head at the Liberty Stadium on Friday night.

The Wales senior trial match - Probables against Possibles - has been revived after a 14-year absence ahead of next month's two-Test South Africa tour.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland will announce a 31-man tour party after the trial and, while many names appear to be inked-in, the odd late bolter cannot be discounted.

"It has been a good, interesting week, and it has been different," said Wales and British and Irish Lions centre Davies, who will line up for the Probables alongside regular Test team midfield partner Jamie Roberts.

"We are preparing for a fiercely-contested game. We have had good preparations, and I am sure the boys are looking forward to it.

"It has the feel of a Welsh derby match, but it's about making sure we go out there as a team and collectively show how we can perform."

A number of fascinating individual contests include Davies lining up opposite Cory Allen, fly-halves Dan Biggar and James Hook facing each other, Gethin Jenkins packing down against Rhodri Jones and Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau taking on young pretender Dan Baker.

And there is also the sight of 20-year-old Scarlets back Jordan Williams featuring on the Probables' left-wing, a player with such talent that he has already been compared in some quarters to a young Shane Williams.

"Jordan has shown all year how much of a threat he is with the ball," Davies added.

"It's an opportunity for him, and we just have to make sure we put him in those areas where he can show what he has got. He is a huge talent, and someone I am looking forward to seeing play.

"It is very difficult to make comparisons for players at a young age. I would just say Jordan has the most talent I have seen in the Scarlets squad with his ability, footwork and handling skills.

"He has it all to be a success, and hopefully, he can be something special."

There will also be some family pride at stake, with the Shingler brothers - flanker Aaron and centre Steven - on opposite sides, together with Davies and his brother James, who provides back-row cover on the Possibles bench.

"I have played against him in the back garden before," Davies senior added. "It will be weird when he comes on.

"Hopefully, he does well, but nowhere near me and he does not get up on me. It's an opportunity for him, and I hope he gets the chance to show what he can do.

"The family are probably daunted about the prospect of the game. I think my mum is hoping we don't make a fool of ourselves and end up in a scrap!"

The bigger picture is Wales' trip to South Africa, which features Tests against the Springboks in Durban on June 14 and Nelspruit seven days later, while there is also a midweek appointment with the Eastern Kings scheduled in Port Elizabeth.

Wales have only beaten South Africa once before - at the Millennium Stadium 16 years ago - and with World Cup 2015 looming ever closer, the tour kick-starts a punishing fixture programme, with six of Wales' next seven Tests being against the Springboks (three times), New Zealand , Australia and England.

They will also head to Springbok territory without injured players like Sam Warburton, Leigh Halfpenny, Justin Tipuric, Scott Williams and Bradley Davies.

"It is going to be tough for the squad that goes out there," Davies said.

"South Africa showed in the autumn (this season) their physicality, and when they had opportunities they took them to score.

"We can't rest on our laurels and expect things to happen. We have to take our chances. The squad that goes out there needs to prepare and make sure we don't step back.

"We have to meet the challenge that has been thrown down.

"For all the boys, playing for your country is a huge honour and the energy in training has been excellent. That will go for whoever goes on the tour.

"Every game for Wales could be your last, so you have to prepare well and do everything you can for it."

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