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Dublin: 3°C Monday 30 November 2020
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Old school: Wales are going to hold a trial match between 'probable' and 'possible' XVs

The match will be played on May 30 and the squad for the summer Tests in South Africa will be named immediately after.

Welsh derbies have been feisty enough this season without adding a game like this.
Welsh derbies have been feisty enough this season without adding a game like this.
Image: Huw Evans/INPHO

WARREN GATLAND OBVIOUSLY didn’t really fancy the prospect of sending his players for two Tests in South Africa after a month without a competitive game.

His solution? A trial match which will pit an established XV against the players snapping at their heels.

The match will be  played at Liberty Stadium on May 30, 15 days before Gatland’s side run out for the first of two Tests against the Springboks on  June 14 in Durban.

Backs coach Rob Howley will take charge of the ‘Probables’ while forwards coach Robin McBride will control the ‘Possibles’. Both men played in the last Wales senior trial match in 2000.

The two camps will be separated in the build-up to the game with Shaun Edwards and Scarlets forwards coach Danny Wilson supporting Howley, while McBryde will be flanked by Neil Jenkins and Dale MacIntosh.

Gatland will, of course, be much more an interested spectator and more intrigue and spice will be added to the contest by the scheduling of his announcement of the touring squad in the post-match press conference.

“It’s a good opportunity for the players,” Gatland said in today’s statement, “but it’s also important for us in our short term as well as long term preparation.

“The trial will enable us to work with the extended squad and see those players in our environment as preparations ramp up for next year’s World Cup.

“It’s a chance for players to experience the set-up and round off a week’s training with us in a meaningful match and hopefully put their hand up for this summer’s tour.”

The WRU have set admission at  £5 for adults, £1 for under 16s and have promised all profits to the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust.

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