Warren Gatland rings the changes for Wales’ second Test against Argentina
Wales are 1-0 up in the two-Test series after winning San Juan opener.
Warren Gatland says he is “looking at the bigger picture” after making five changes for Wales’ second Test against Argentina on Saturday.
Wales beat Argentina to win 23-10 in San Juan last weekend to go 1-0 up in the two-match series.
But Wales head coach Gatland has decided to make significant changes for the second Test in Santa Fe, with Ellis Jenkins, Tomas Francis, Ryan Elias, Aled Davies and Owen Watkin all coming into the side.
🔈Team Announcement: Wales make 5 changes for final summer tour test. @coryhill_ remains captain with Ellis Jenkins, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Aled Davies & Owen Watkin all coming into the side to face @lospumas 🏴 v 🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/q93XhElCl3— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) June 14, 2018
“We’ve made five changes to the starting line-up as we want to see a few players from the start and give those players a bit more opportunity,” Gatland said of his team selection.
“Looking at the objectives of this tour, we are right on track, we have won two games from two, but more importantly we have exposed players to Test match rugby.
“We have given more opportunity and that was the aim coming in.
“We want to go home three from three but we know the challenge that we are up against this weekend and we also are looking at the bigger picture.
📹 Hear from Warren Gatland after Wales made 5 changes for the final test & how tour objectives are being met 👍👇 pic.twitter.com/uXOG5ogZXw— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) June 14, 2018
“We might have picked a slightly different team if it was just about results, but it is about more than that, it is about building for 2019 and we are on the right track.
“Both Cory (Hill) and Ellis have been great on tour as co-captains. This week with them both in the side we have just gone for a bit of continuity with Cory doing the job as he did last weekend.
“Additionally, we are asking Ellis to play at six, so this allows him to concentrate on that role on Saturday.”
Wales left several of their established names at home this summer to give inexperienced players a taste of international rugby 15 months from the start of the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
But Wales have still managed to beat South Africa in Washington DC, as well as outplaying Argentina on home soil last weekend.
Jenkins comes in at blindside flanker to link up with James Davies on the openside and Ross Moriarty at number eight.
Further squad update: Samson Lee has returned home with a back injury and Hadleigh Parkes ruled out of final test after suffering compound fracture in his finger in opening minutes of last week's game.— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) June 14, 2018
There is a new look front row with Elias and Francis making their first starts of the tour alongside Rob Evans.
Scrum-half Aled Davies also gets his first start as Watkin replaces the injured Hadleigh Parkes, who has suffered a compound fracture to his finger.
Prop forward Samson Lee also misses out and has returned home due to a back injury.