Wales recall Sam Warburton for vital Test match with New Zealand this weekend

Last Updated: 20/11/12 3:29pm

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Sam Warburton: Restored to Wales side to face New Zealand on Saturday

Sam Warburton: Restored to Wales side to face New Zealand on Saturday

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Captain Sam Warburton returns as one of five changes to the Wales side for Saturday's Test match with world champions New Zealand.

Warburton, Jonathan Davies, Rhys Priestland, Matthew Rees and Luke Charteris are recalled after missing the 26-19 defeat by Samoa last Friday.

The changes were confirmed on Tuesday lunchtime by coach Warren Gatland, who is back to lead Wales after missing the Samoa and Argentina games to work on preparatory business ahead of next summer's British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.

Back-to-back defeats dropped Wales out of the top eight in the International Rugby Board rankings, making their clash with the All Blacks at the Millennium Stadium even more important.

Davies starts at centre after recovering from a groin problem, replacing Ashley Beck, while Priestland starts at fly-half ahead of Dan Biggar, who was not considered because of a shoulder injury.

Rees returns to the front-row, where he will pack down alongside Paul James and Aaron Jarvis, with Charteris in for Ian Evans, who has taken only a limited part in training due to knee trouble, and Warburton replacing Justin Tipuric.

Gatland takes charge of this game and against Australia on 1 December before handing the reins back to Rob Howley for the Six Nations.

Wales: Halfpenny (Cardiff); Cuthbert (Cardiff), J Davies (Scarlets), Roberts (Cardiff), North (Scarlets); Priestland (Scarlets), Phillips (Bayonne); James (Bath), Rees (Scarlets), Jarvis (Ospreys), Davies (Cardiff), Charteris (Perpignan), R Jones (Ospreys), Warburton (Cardiff, capt), Faletau (Dragons).
Replacements: Owens (Scarlets), Jenkins (Toulon), Andrews (Cardiff), Shingler (Scarlets), Tipuric (Ospreys), Knoyle (Scarlets), Hook (Perpignan), Williams (Scarlets)

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