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Teen Keelan Giles in line for Wales Test debut against Japan

Published 13/11/2016

Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley saw his team bounce back to form with a 24-20 victory over Argentina
Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley saw his team bounce back to form with a 24-20 victory over Argentina

Teenager Keelan Giles could be in line for a Test debut when Wales face Japan next Saturday.

The 18-year-old Ospreys wing has already scored eight tries this season and was recently called into Wales' autumn squad.

Interim head coach Rob Howley intends making changes for Japan's Principality Stadium visit after seeing his players return to winning ways by beating Argentina 24-20 in Cardiff.

And that might mean an opportunity for Giles, whose searing pace and dazzling footwork have already led many pundits to draw comparisons between him and Wales' all-time record international try scorer Shane Williams.

"There could be an opportunity for him," Howley said. "We will digest things in terms of some bumps and bruises.

"Keelan has been brought into the squad. He is someone who has obviously been fast-tracked.

"If you are good enough, it doesn't matter about your age. We have shown that with other players.

"It's important that we look after our side, but we will pick a strong team. Japan are a very good side. They want to play a fast open game, so it's important we respect them."

Japan warmed up for their Cardiff visit with a 28-22 win against Georgia in Tbilisi on Saturday, yet Wales will go into the game after ending a five-Test losing run through second-half tries by Liam Williams and Gareth Davies, plus 14 points from full-back Leigh Halfpenny.

It was a solid response by Howley's men following the drubbing that Australia dished out seven days earlier as they claimed a first win since the final day of last season's RBS 6 Nations Championship.

"It's important that you celebrate wins," Howley added. "The players delivered - they were outstanding in their preparation.

"With the 23 players that were selected, it was important we put some pride back into that national jersey.

"I will never question the attitude of our players. Last week (against Australia), for whatever reason in that first half, we've never experienced that before.

"But in fairness to the players, they rolled their sleeves up and we were on edge. I think they deserve many accolades."

Wales' victory is set to see them climb above Argentina in the official world rankings, but Howley said: "The world rankings will look after themselves - the games are going to swing right, left and centre over the next few months.

"It's all in a cluster between (countries ranked) four and nine. To win against a side that is above us in the rankings is obviously important, but more important was winning at home. It was key for us to do that.

"A lot of good is in the detail of the game and we were able to control field position compared to last week where we were forced to play because we were under pressure from the scoreboard.

"This week we were in control because the scoreboard was on our side."

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