Wales and Scotland ring the changes as both Coaches look to shake things up


Both Scotland and Wales have rung the changes to their starting XV’s this weekend after disappointment last weekend.

Wales, with Warren Gatland back in charge, have reinstated captain Sam Warburton to the starting line up in place of Justin Tipuric, with Gatland reportedly furious at suggestions in the media of a rift between the pair.

Perhaps more important for Wales though is the return to fitness of Jonathan Davies, adding a much needed balance to the midfield. Indeed the Welsh backline now looks like the first choice back line for the first time since they won the Grand Slam, with Rhys Priestland back again for the injured Dan Biggar.

In the forwards Luke Charteris starts after impressed when he came on for the injured Evans last week, but there is no place for Toulon prop Gethin Jenkins who has to make do with a place on the bench, while Matthew Rees comes back in at hooker.

In all there are five chances to the side that was beaten by Samoa, with more changes on the bench, but while the backline looks first choice, the back row still looks as though there are a number of cover options in there.

Scotland too have a few new face on show, with Henry Pyrgos earning his first start after impressing off the bench last week. Rory Lawson replaces him on the bench with Mike Blair dropping out altogether.

Also out of the squad are Jim Hamilton and Ross Ford, captain just a few months ago. Hamilton is replaced by Alastair Kellock, with Grant Gilchrist coming onto the bench while Scott Lawson replaces Ford while Dougie Hall sits on the bench.

John Barclay is also relegated to the bench with Alasdair Strokosch starting at 6 and Kelly Brown moving to the openside.

The fourth change sees Max Evans start at outside centre with Nick De Luca dropping to the bench. While young Bath star Tom Heathcote is the substitute fly half after accepting the call from Andy Robinson, despite efforts from the England management to have him in their setup.

Wales side vs New Zealand: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Rhys Priestland, Mike Phillips; Paul James, Matthew Rees, Aaron Jarvis, Bradley Davies, Luke Charteris, Ryan Jones, Sam Warburton (captain), Toby Faletau

Replacaments: Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins, Scott Andrews, Aaron Shingler, Justin Tipuric, Tavis Knoyle, James Hook, Scott Williams

Scotland side vs Tonga: Stuart Hogg, Sean Lamont, Max Evans, Matt Scott, Tim Visser, Greig Laidlaw, Henry Pyrgos, Ryan Grant, Scott Lawson, Euan Murray, Richie Gray, Alastair Kellock, Alasdair Strokosch, Kelly Brown (capt), David Denton.

Replacements : Dougie Hall, Kyle Traynor, Geoff Cross, Grant Gilchrist, John Barclay, Rory Lawson, Tom Heathcote, Nick De Luca.

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