Lydiate replaces injured Warburton for Springboks clash


Wales skipper Sam Warburton will miss Saturday's Test against South Africa in Cardiff after failing to recover from a shoulder injury sustained in training earlier this week.

Warburton's absence means a return to the starting XV for Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate, who is poised to win his 60th Test cap.

Having shuffled his pack for last weekend's game against Japan, coach Rob Howley has reverted to a more familiar line-up for the Springboks clash, with Warburton the only change from the side that edged out Argentina a fortnight ago.

That means experienced centre Jamie Roberts has to be content with a place on the bench, where he will be joined by Taulupe Faletau despite the fact that the Bath number eight has only played 55 minutes of club rugby since returning from a knee injury.

Wales have endured a disappointing November series to date, losing heavily to Australia before scraping unconvincing wins over Argentina and Japan.

And Howley has called upon his players to lift their performance levels against a South African side that was humbled by Italy last time out.

"There is the tinge of disappointment in terms of performance against Japan and we want to put that right," he said. "Not only are we looking to win this weekend, we want a performance to go with it.

"We were pleased with the win against Argentina so have gone with virtually the same team for South Africa.

"We've made just one change, in the back-row. Sam picked up a bit of a stinger injury on Tuesday and isn't quite ready so Dan comes in. Dan played particularly well against Japan so we are pleased he gets the opportunity again.

"It's good to have Taulupe back in the squad, he will add a good impact from the bench."

Gethin Jenkins will lead Wales in Warburton's absence, while Leigh Halfpenny will start at full-back with Liam Williams on the wing and Dan Biggar at fly-half.


Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Liam Williams, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Gethin Jenkins (c), Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Luke Charteris, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty

Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Cory Hill, Taulupe Faletau, Lloyd Williams, Sam Davies, Jamie Roberts