Wales v South Africa: Samson Lee replaces dropped Adam Jones

Adam Jones (left) and Samson Lee
Adam Jones (left) and Samson Lee

Wales have dropped veteran prop Adam Jones and picked Samson Lee for Saturday's second South Africa Test.

Lee, 21, who has won four caps, replaced Jones during the first half of the first Test, which Wales lost 38-16.

Scarlets team-mate Josh Turnbull is in at open-side for Aaron Shingler, who joins Jones in being omitted from the match day squad.

Wales coach Warren Gatland said if 100-Test Jones, 33, wants to reclaim his place, "the ball's in his court".

New Zealander Gatland said Jones can also concentrate on sorting out a contractual situation that has seen him linked with re-signing for Ospreys or doing a deal with the Welsh Rugby Union.

"He can get a good break now and get things sorted out contractually-wise and come back motivated to be part of the [2015[] World Cup squad," said Gatland.

"So the ball's in his court at the moment.

"But I'm not questioning what he's done in the game and what he's achieved and what he's contributed to Welsh rugby because he's been a stalwart for a long time.

"And what he's achieved far outweighs, probably, what happened last weekend."

Jones' fellow Osprey Aaron Jarvis is on the bench in Nelspruit and Gatland hopes he can add to Wales' strength in depth if he has some game time.

Gatland said: "He [Jones] was disappointed with us taking him off [in the first Test] and the way he played and we appreciate that as well because of what he's achieved as a player.

"But it doesn't matter who you are, the expectations are that you've got to go out there and perform for everyone.

"A lot of people, as we all are, are under pressure to perform and there's a chance for some others and a chance for Samson to stay at three and potentially have a look at Aaron as well."

Gatland said the weather forecast for Nelspruit also played a part in his selection.

The game is predicted to be played in 73-degree farenheit sunshine.

The Wales coach said: "He [Jones] hasn't had a lot of rugby recently and the way that the game [first Test] was and potentially the way the weather conditions are going to be for this week, we just felt at this stage that we wanted to have a look at someone else and make a change."

Lee will join Gethin Jenkins and Ken Owens in a new-look front-row while captain Alun Wyn Jones wins his 80th cap for Wales alongside Luke Charteris in the second row.

Scrum-half Mike Phillips retains his place with Dan Biggar at fly-half and Lions centres Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies in midfield.

George North and Alex Cuthbert start on the wings with Liam Williams at full-back.

There are three changes among the replacements with Jones' fellow Osprey Aaron Jarvis, Scarlets lock Jake Ball and Ospreys number eight Dan Baker coming into the match-day squad, meaning there is no place on the bench for Jones and Shingler.

Ball takes over from Ian Evans, who came on as a first Test replacement, while Baker and Jarvis have overtaken Shingler and Jones respectively in Gatland's pecking order.

"We have had a good week and we see Saturday as an opportunity to right the wrongs of last weekend," Gatland added.

"We were disappointed with last week's display, but we want to finish the season with a big performance and show what we know we are capable of."

Phillips had feared for his place while one of his predecessors, Robert Jones, believed challenger Gareth Davies deserved to make his first start.


Wales: Liam Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton Saints), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Alun Wyn Jones (Capt) (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Matthew Rees (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Bath), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Dan Baker (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), James Hook (Perpignan), Matthew Morgan (Ospreys).