Rugby Union: Wales unveil their latest Quinnell model

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The Independent Online
Craig Quinnell will follow not only in father's footsteps but those of brother and uncle as well when he makes his debut for Wales against Fiji at Cardiff Arms Park on 11 November.

The 20-year-old Llanelli flanker, 6ft 6in and 181/2 st, is the latest to gain the benefit of the Welsh selectors' policy of extreme youth, his inclusion in the side named yesterday among four changes from those who lost with honour in South Africa in September.

Craig's father Derek, now a selector, won 23 caps in the Seventies and brother Scott, capped in 1993 when 21, played nine times before turning professional with Wigan a year ago when the teenaged Craig was a fifth- choice club second row.

The boys are also nephews of Barry John, the all-time great Wales stand- off of Derek's earlier years, and there is yet another brother on the way through. Gavin, aged 11, is already 5ft 9in tall.

Craig is keen to establish his personal credentials rather than rely on reputations established by his father and elder brother, though it is a source of regret that Scott and Craig, despite the closeness of their ages, never played a match together after the age of eight.

"We're not the same type of person or player and I want to think about what I can give the Welsh team when I'm there and not what they gave when they were there," he said yesterday.

Quinnell for Andrew Gibbs on the blind side, the 21-year-old Andrew Moore - capped as a replacement in Johannesburg - for Greg Prosser at lock, Wayne Proctor for Simon Hill on the wing and Nigel Davies from outside the squad to replace Gareth Jones at centre are the changes.

Ieuan Evans will beat John Williams's 55-cap Welsh record when he appears against Fiji, mention of the illustrious JPR being a reminder of disquiet with Welsh play at the very highest levels. JPR, now a selector, made clear his derogatory view of Neil Jenkins' outside-half play at the weekend.

There is also contention over the omission of Gareth Llewellyn, particularly with two other challengers, Prosser and Paul Arnold, being injured. Llewellyn is widely believed to be paying the penalty for upsetting Alex Evans, the then coach, off the field during the World Cup, something that is officially denied.

WALES (v Fiji, Cardiff, 11 November): J Thomas; I Evans (Llanelli), G Thomas (Bridgend), N Davies, W Proctor (Llanelli); N Jenkins (Pontypridd), A Moore (Cardiff); C Loader (Swansea), J Humphreys (Cardiff, capt), J Davies (Neath), A Moore (Swansea), D Jones (Cardiff), C Quinnell (Llanelli), H Taylor, M Bennett (Cardiff). Replacements: S Hill (Cardiff), A Williams (Swansea), R Howley (Bridgend), L Mustoe (Cardiff), G Jenkins (Swansea), S Williams (Neath).

n Harlequins will stage three rugby league games next month. The London Broncos will play at The Stoop, starting on 1 November against St Helens. The other fixtures are against Halifax on 15 November and Warrington four days later.

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