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Wing Alex Cuthbert named in starting line-up for second South Africa Test

07 Jul 2022 3 minute read
Alex Cuthbert in action for Wales. Photo David Davies. PA Images

Wales boss Wayne Pivac has called up wing Alex Cuthbert as a solitary change to the starting line-up for Saturday’s second Test against South Africa in Bloemfontein.

Cuthbert, who starred in the Guinness Six Nations earlier this year, replaces Josh Adams.

Adams is on the bench, where an enforced switch sees uncapped Saracens prop Sam Wainwright taking over from Tomas Francis, who was stood down by Wales’ medical team and has returned home after suffering concussion during the 32-29 first Test defeat.

North Wales-born Wainwright, 24, was drafted into the tour squad last month as a replacement for the injured Leon Brown.

And his Test debut now awaits as Wales target a first victory over the Springboks in South Africa following an agonising loss last weekend.

In stark contrast to Pivac’s selection approach, his Springboks counterpart Jacques Nienaber made 14 alterations from the series opener in Pretoria, retaining only lock Eben Etzebeth.

Wales centre George North, meanwhile, will equal Stephen Jones’ record as the most-capped Welsh men’s international back with 104 appearances.

Aerial battles 

Pivac said: “Alex Cuthbert has been training really well. He is good in the air and runs all day. I think there will be plenty of aerial battles.

“Sam Wainwright has been very excited to join us. From day one he has been training really well.

“I know he is over the moon at his selection in the matchday 23, and his family are over here, so he is looking forward to a big day.”

On South Africa’s team selection, Pivac added: “It hasn’t changed our preparation at all.

“It is going to be 15 rugby players in green shirts, and we are expecting more of the same.

“They are a very experienced team no matter what combinations they put out. This side is one to be respected and not taken lightly.”

Wales team to play South Africa in the second Test on Saturday:

L Williams (Cardiff); L Rees-Zammit (Gloucester), G North (Ospreys), N Tompkins (Saracens), A Cuthbert (Ospreys); D Biggar (Northampton, capt), K Hardy (Scarlets); G Thomas (Ospreys), R Elias (Scarlets), D Lewis (Cardiff), W Rowlands (Dragons), A Beard (Ospreys), D Lydiate (Ospreys), T Reffell (Leicester), T Faletau (Cardiff).

Replacements: D Lake (Ospreys), W Jones (Scarlets), S Wainwright (Saracens), A W Jones (Ospreys), J Navidi (Cardiff), T Williams (Cardiff), G Anscombe (Ospreys), J Adams (Cardiff).

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