Wales hand Parkes debut v South Africa on day he qualifies via residency

New Zealand-born Hadleigh Parkes has now qualified for Wales on residency rules
Autumn internationals: Wales v South Africa
Venue: Principality Stadium Date: Saturday, 2 December Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, Connected TVs, online and BBC Sport app; listen on BBC Radio 5 live, Radio Wales and Radio Cymru; text commentary on BBC Sport website.

Scarlets centre Hadleigh Parkes will make his Wales debut against South Africa on Saturday in Cardiff - the day he qualifies through residency.

The New Zealander, 30, lines up at centre alongside Scott Williams.

Scott Andrews starts at tight-head prop, with Leon Brown, Samson Lee and Tomas Francis injured or unavailable.

At lock Cory Hill replaces Jake Ball, who dislocated a shoulder in last weekend's loss to New Zealand, while Aled Davies starts at scrum-half.

His namesake Gareth Davies came off the bench against New Zealand last week but has been ruled out with a shoulder problem, while Rhys Webb suffered a head knock in the same game although the Osprey is on the bench for this weekend's game in Cardiff.

Scrum-half Davies' Scarlets team-mate Parkes will make his Wales debut against the Springboks, having not been eligible for the first three Tests of the autumn - which have seen Wales lose to Australia and the All Blacks and narrowly beat Georgia.

The Kiwi qualifies on residency grounds on Saturday, having joined the Scarlets in 2014.

Wales are without centres Owen Williams and Jamie Roberts, who have returned to their English club sides Gloucester and Harlequins.

Coach Warren Gatland is down to the bare bones in the front row and hooker Ken Owens is the latest casualty with a back injury, with Kristian Dacey starting instead.

"Saturday is an opportunity to continue to build on what we have done so far and round off the autumn campaign with a big performance," said Gatland.

"We have spoken about exposing the squad to Test match rugby and this weekend is a great opportunity for Hadleigh to earn his first cap and for Aled to make his first start of the campaign.

"We have had a couple of knocks from last weekend, with Ken [Owens], Leon [Brown] and Jake [Ball] unavailable but that just provides an opportunity for Kristian, Scott [Andrews] and Cory to start."

Scott Andrews (left) has won 13 caps for Wales, having made his debut in 2011

Dragons' Brown became the third prop to withdraw from the squad earlier this week.

The 21-year old has a concussion, while Exeter's Francis has returned to his club and is unavailable with the match outside the international window.

Scarlets' Lee is also out with an Achilles problem, so Ospreys tight-head Rhodri Jones has joined the squad and provides cover to the number three position from the bench.

Andrews, 28, has been on loan at Bath from Cardiff Blues this season and is set to win his 14th cap, playing his first international since facing Japan in November 2016.

In the back-row, Taulupe Faletau is available despite being based in England, although his club side Bath face being fined by Premiership Rugby for releasing the number eight for a match played outside World Rugby's autumn Tests window.

However, fly-half Rhys Priestland has returned to the Recreation Ground, meaning Rhys Patchell is added to the bench.

Faletau's fellow British and Irish Lions forward Justin Tipuric has a thigh injury, so that sees Blues' Josh Navidi continue at open-side after his impressive performance against the All Blacks, while Aaron Shingler also retains his place at blind-side.

Full-back Liam Williams missed the New Zealand game with an abdominal injury but would have returned to his English club Saracens regardless for Saturday's game.

Lions Sam Warburton, George North and Ross Moriarty were all unavailable for Wales' autumn series with long-term injuries, while Jonathan Davies was injured in the opening loss to the Wallabies.

Wales: L Halfpenny (Scarlets); H Amos (Dragons), S Williams (Scarlets), H Parkes (Scarlets), S Evans (Scarlets); D Biggar (Ospreys), A Davies (Scarlets); R Evans (Scarlets), K Dacey (Cardiff Blues), S Andrews (Cardiff Blues), C Hill (Dragons), A W Jones (Ospreys, capt), A Shingler (Scarlets), J Navidi (Cardiff Blues), T Faletau (Bath).

Replacements: E Dee (Dragons), W Jones (Scarlets), R Jones (Ospreys), S Davies (Cardiff Blues), D Lydiate (Ospreys), R Webb (Ospreys), R Patchell (Scarlets), O Watkin (Ospreys).

Referee: Jerome Garces (France).

Assistants: Wayne Barnes (England) and Frank Murphy (Ireland).

TMO: Rowan Kitt (England).

Source: BBC Rugby Union News

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By adamreeves / Administrator, bbp_keymaster on Nov 30, 2017