Hallam Amos named in much-changed Wales side for Friday's game with Tonga

Last Updated: 21/11/13 3:30pm

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Hallam Amos: Will make his senior debut for Wales on Friday night

Hallam Amos: Will make his senior debut for Wales on Friday night

Sky Bet

Newport Gwent Dragons wing Hallam Amos will make his debut for Wales against Tonga at the Millennium Stadium on Friday night.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has made 11 changes to the side who defeated Argentina 40-6 on Saturday and has essentially named a second-string pack.

However, flanker Andrew Coombs did not take part in Wales' final training session at the Millennium Stadium on Thursday.

"The decision was made to give him a morning off, but hopefully he will be

available tomorrow night," Wales assistant coach Rob Howley said. "He has a stiff back."

Were Coombs to be ruled out, then either Dan Lydiate or Sam Warburton could expect to be promoted off the replacements' bench.

"Tonga are a typical South Sea Island side. They will be physical, powerful and won't take a backwards step."
Warren Gatland

Full-back Leigh Halfpenny and wing George North are the only starters who would be considered definite first-choice selections, as Gatland looks towards a Test against Australia on 30 November.

Prop Rhodri Jones and flanker Justin Tipuric are the other survivors from the team who started last weekend and number eight Ryan Jones returns to captain his country for a record-extending 33rd time.

The 19-year-old Amos, who was only called into the training squad nine days ago, now gets a chance to start while Ashley Beck and Owen Williams will team up in midfield.

The versatile James Hook gets an opportunity at fly-half while Lloyd Williams will be the starting scrum-half.

Excluding last year's match against the Barbarians, it will be Hook's first start for Wales since the 2011 World Cup bronze medal match, which they lost to Australia.

Bench

Bath prop Paul James, Ospreys lock Ian Evans and Dragons flanker Andrew Coombs come into the pack, while Lions captain Sam Warburton and Dan Lydiate will be on the bench.

Gatland, who will be taking charge of a side in an international for the 100th time, is looking forward to seeing how the new-look team acquits itself.

"It's a great opportunity for these guys to show us exactly how they cope with the international game," he said.

"The whole squad has trained well since the start of the campaign and they deserve their chance."

"Tonga are a typical South Sea Island side. They will be physical, powerful and won't take a backwards step.

"We pride ourselves on matching other sides' physicality, and we will have to do that on Friday. It should be a great encounter, with both sides looking to move the ball around."

Wales began their autumn programme with a 24-15 loss to South Africa but then defeated Argentina to secure their first November victory since 2009.

Wales team v Tonga: Halfpenny, North, O Williams, Beck, Amos, Hook, L Williams, James, Owens, Rhodri Jones, Charteris, Evans, Coombs, Tipuric, Ryan Jones (capt).

Replacements: E Phillips, Bevington, Lee, Lydiate, Warburton, R Williams, Priestland, J Williams

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