Gethin Jenkins will win his 100th cap for Wales on Saturday, but with his partner in crime Adam Jones missing through injury, he will line-up in a front row showing one change – Rhodri Jones starts at tighthead. The Scarlets prop made his debut for Wales last summer against the Barbarians and featured on the summer tour to Japan. He will earn his third test-cap at the Millennium Stadium.
In the back-row Justin Tipuric comes in to replace the injured Dan Lydiate, with captain Sam Warburton shifting to the blindside. Lydiate injured his ankle in the defeat to the Springboks and has been ruled out of the second autumn tie.
In the backs, Dan Biggar starts at fly-half ahead of Rhys Priestland, who drops out of the squad all together. Outside him there is an intriguing selection in the shape of 20-year old Cardiff player Cory Allen. The young centre has made waves on the sevens circuit for Wales, and now gets his chance in the full side.
“Last weekend will stand us in good stead in terms of physicality and intensity as Saturday will be a huge battle against Argentina,” said Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland. “They will be looking for a repeat of last year and we will need to be more clinical to get the result we are aiming for.
“We have been working hard to ensure we convert the chances we create and encourage the players to look for and exploit opportunities and space.
“Saturday will be a huge occasion for Gethin (Jenkins) and a fantastic milestone. We have made a number of changes due to injury but it’s a great opportunity for players we have been very impressed with. For Cory (Allen) it will be his first taste of international rugby and for Rhodri (Jones) a chance to gain more experience. Justin (Tipuric) played very well off the bench last weekend and Dan’s injury gives him the chance to start the game.
“At fly-half it was always our intention to give Dan (Biggar) and Rhys (Priestland) one game each at the start of the series and it’s Dan chance this weekend.”
Wales team to play Argentina:
Leigh Halfpenny (Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Cory Allen (Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Unattached), Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Blues – capt), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Dragons)
Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Paul James (Bath), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Ashley Beck (Ospreys)
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Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images