Wasps flanker Young among 9 uncapped in Wales squad to meet Tonga in Auckland

Wales’ meeting forms one half of a double header in Eden Park with the All Blacks meeting Samoa in the main event.

Image: Paul Harding

WALES WILL RELY on youthful exuberance as a weakened squad seeks to maintain a perfect winning record against Tonga in Auckland on Friday.

Stand-in coach Robin McBryde named nine debutants in his match-day squad as the Welsh seek to fill the gap left by 12 senior players touring with the British and Irish Lions.

Even the regular national coach Warren Gatland is unavailable as he leads the Lions in New Zealand, creating a unique opportunity for youngsters to make their mark.

The match was originally scheduled to be played in Nuku’alofa but was relocated after facilities in the Tongan capital were deemed inadequate.

Instead, it is being played as part of a double-header at Eden Park alongside New Zealand-Samoa as the All Blacks warm-up for the Lions at the same venue on Saturday week.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our players to be taking part in this match at Eden Park, and we expect them to make the most of it,” McBryde said.

“We’ve got an average age of 25 in the match squad, but there are experienced heads in there. We’ll need them all to be on top form against what will undoubtedly be a passionate, tough Tongan team.”

Wales have a perfect 8-0 record against Tonga, although the Pacific islanders have occasionally run them close, most recently a 17-7 loss in Cardiff in 2013.


15 Gareth Anscombe
14 Alex Cuthbert
13 Scott Williams
12 Jamie Roberts (Capt)
11 Steffan Evans
10 Sam Davies
9 Gareth Davies

1 Nicky Smith
2 Kristian Dacey
3 Tomas Francis
4 Seb Davies
5 Cory Hill
6 Aaron Shingler
7 Thomas Young
8 Josh Navidi


16 Ryan Elias
17 Wyn Jones
18 Dillon Lewis
19 Ellis Jenkins
20 Ollie Griffiths
21 Aled Davies
22 Owen Williams
23 Cory Allen

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15.Dave Halaifonua
14. Nafi Tuitavake
13. Siale Piutau ( Capt. )
12. Vili Tahitua
11. Cooper Vuna
10. Latiume Fosita
9. Tane Takulua

1. Latu Talakai
2. Paula Ngauamo
3. Ben Tameifuna
4. Leva Fifita
5. Steve Mafi
6. Dan Faleafa
7. Nili Latu
8. Valentino Mapapalangi

16. Suliasi Taufalele
17. Sila Puafisi
18. Phil Kite
19. Sione Tau
20. Mike Faleafa
21. Leon Fukofuka
22. Kali Hala
23. Kiti Taimani

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