Wales resist temptation to switch Halfpenny and North against Argentina

Last Updated: 12/11/13 8:18pm

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George North had a disappointing game against South Africa

George North had a disappointing game against South Africa

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Leigh Halfpenny and George North are not expected to switch from their familiar starting roles for Wales when they take on Argentina at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

The reigning Six Nations champions have been hit by injuries behind the scrum, with Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Alex Cuthbert and Eli Walker all ruled out.

Regular full-back Halfpenny moved to wing after Liam Williams went off injured against South Africa last weekend, with James Hook coming on at full-back and Ospreys centre Ashley Beck replacing Davies.

Asked on Tuesday if winger North was under consideration to move into midfield this week, Wales assistant coach Rob Howley said: "Not at this moment in time. George needs to get back to where he was last year.

"I was a bit disappointed with his performance (last Saturday) in terms of number of touches and getting involved in the game. We've spoken about it, both of us, and it is important that he plays on the wing on the weekend and gets involved in terms of his work-rate.

"His first cap against South Africa (three years ago), I think he made 20-odd touches. I think he only made seven on the weekend.

"We believe Leigh is one of the best full-backs in world rugby and we would like to keep him at 15. Putting Leigh to the wing, he hasn't played there for quite a while.

"In James Hook, Cory Allen, Ashley Beck and Scott Williams, we feel we have got strength in depth there (midfield).

"Jamie Roberts and Jon Davies are world-class players, and any back line in world rugby would miss them. It is that strength in depth you need to search for and develop. We haven't done too badly in that areas when we have developed players like Leigh and George."

Gatland is due to name his line-up for the Argentina game on Thursday.

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