Wales v Tonga: Coombs out of Wales team to face Tonga

Hallam Amos


Millennium Stadium
Friday, 22 November
19:30 GMT
Live on BBC Two Wales, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & online; score updates online; highlights on Scrum V on BBC Two Wales on Sunday from 18:15 GMT

Newport Gwent Dragons flanker Andrew Coombs was a late Wales injury withdrawal ahead of their Friday clash with Tonga in Cardiff.

Coombs (back) made way for ex-Dragon Dan Lydiate while Alun Wyn Jones came on to the bench.

Teenage Dragons wing Hallam Amos will make his Wales debut.

Amos, 19, is one of 11 changes to the side that beat Argentina 40-6 with only Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Rhodri Jones and Justin Tipuric surviving.

James Hook and Lloyd Williams are paired at half-back with Ian Evans coming in at lock.

Ospreys number eight Ryan Jones will captain the team.

Amos is coach Warren Gatland's second untried back of the autumn series after he handed Blues centre Cory Allen a debut against the Pumas.

"It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks but I'm so pleased to be here and looking forward to getting my first cap," Amos said.

"I think I've been quite lucky with injuries so I've just got to take my opportunities - it wasn't expected and I'm very pleased.

"I'm not sure if it's sunk in yet - I'm so looking forward to it."

With Allen dislocating his shoulder and Scott Williams struggling with a toe ligament injury, Wales have opted for a new centre partnership of Cardiff Blue Owen Williams and Osprey Ashley Beck.

Hook is Gatland's third outside-half of the autumn series after Rhys Priestland played in the defeat against South Africa and Dan Biggar figured in the Argentina victory.

It would be Hook's first start in a Wales jersey since the game against the Barbarians in June 2012.

In the front row prop Paul James joins Scarlets hooker Ken Owens and Jones.

However, James will miss the game against Australia on 30 November which falls outside the IRB international window.

Ahead of the 2013 autumn Tests, to ensure James could face Wasps in the Premiership on Sunday, 24 November.

Wales agreed on the basis James would be free for duty against the Wallabies.

But a Wales spokesman confirmed that arrangement no longer exists.


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), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Ryan Jones (Ospreys, capt), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys).

Replacements: Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Jordan Williams (Scarlets).

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