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Wales v Tonga preview

Hallam Amos will make Wales debut against Tonga on Friday as head coach Warren Gatland makes 11 changes from the team that thumped Argentina.

The Dragons winger, who impressed since the start of the season, starts on the right wing with George North and Leigh Halfpenny also in the back three.

Ryan Jones captains the side from No.8 in a pack that sees the arrival of five other new faces.

Bath’s Paul James and Ken Owens partner Scarlets’ Rhodri Jones. Luke Charteris is at lock alongside Ian Evans with Justin Tipuric, Andrew Coombs packing down around Jones in the back-row.

With Cory Allen suffering a dislocated shoulder Gatland has re-shuffled his midfield with Ashley Beck partnering Cardiff Blues’ Owen Williams while James Hook gets the nod at fly-half shirt and Lloyd Williams at No.9.

Jordan Williams and Rhodri Williams could also be making their debut is required from the bench that include Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton and Rhys Priestland.

Gatland said: “Tonga are a typical south sea island side and will be physical, powerful and won’t take a backwards step. We pride ourselves on matching other side’s 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. We have made a number of changes but it’s a great opportunity for these guys to show us exactly how they cope with the international game.

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

Meanwhile, Gloucester No.8 Sione Kalamafomi shifts to the blindside in the Tonga back row as Oyonnax’s Viliami Ma’afu joins the base of the scrum.

Nili Latu Langilangi will captain the side from openside while star loosehead Sona Taumalolo begins his four-match suspension after his red card for punching Yoann Maestri in last week’s clash against France which they lost 38-18.

There is also a change at tighthead as Sila Puafisi scrums down with Tevita Mailau dropping to the bench.

In the last change to the starting XV, Latiume Fosita starts at fly-half in place of Fangatapu ‘Apikotoa.

Exeter Chiefs’ winger Fetu’u Vainikolo remains on the right wing after his two-try cameo in Le Havre against Les Bleus.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Owen Williams (Cardiff Blues), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), James Hook (Perpignan), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Bath), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Ryan Jones (Ospreys, Capt.)

Replacements: Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Jordan Williams (Scarlets).

Tonga: Vungakoto Lilo; Fetu’u Vainikolo, Siale Piutau, Sione Piukala, Will Helu; Latiume Fosita,Taniela Moa; Eddie Aholelei, Elvis Taione, Sila Puafisi; Tukulua Lokotui, Joe Tu’ineau; Sione Kalamafoni, Nili Latu Langilangi (Capt.), Viliami Ma’afu.

Replacements: Suliasi Taufalele, Tevita Mailau, Taione Vea, Hale T Pole, Opeti Fonua, Samisoni Fisilau, Fangatapu ‘Apikotoa, Tevita Halaifonua.

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