Wales on the AWJ bench?

Wales could place Test rugby’s most capped player on the bench when Wayne Pivac names his squad for the series opener against the Springboks on Thursday.

According WalesOnlinePivac is expected to favor Will Rowlands ahead of Alun Wyn Jones for the first of three Tests against the Springboks in Pretoria on Saturday.

MORE: Nienaber supports versatility for the “hard grind”

Jones captained the British and Irish Lions in the series in South Africa last year and started all three Tests against the Boks after recovering by surprise from a dislocated shoulder.

However, he was supplanted as Wales captain by Dan Biggar at the Six Nations and the fly-half retained the captaincy for the next Tests.

Jones, 36, missed most of the Six Nations through injury and on his return Wales suffered a historic loss to Italy in the final round of the tournament.

“At number two, the big call is whether Pivac rewards Will Rowlands for an award-winning year or brings back Alun Wyn Jones once again,” writes journalist Ben James. “It didn’t work against Italy, with Jones looking a passenger in an admittedly poor team performance.

“But they are the world champions and Test Rugby’s most capped player lives for those occasions, as demonstrated by last year’s return from a tour-ending injury. Strip the emotion and reputation out of the situation and it’s Rowlands who join forces with Adam Beard in Pretoria.

MORE: Jantjies and Willemse debut in new Bok range

Probable Wales squad – 15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Will Rowlands, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francois, 2 Lake Dewi, 1 Wyn Jones.
Probable replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Taine Basham, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Louis Rees-Zammit.

ALSO: Creeping URC star Roos is out but his Bok chance will come

Photo: Getty Images

Comments are closed.