Jones back in Welsh pack for All Blacks

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The Independent Online

Steve Hansen, the Wales coach, has restricted himself to one change to the side beaten by Australia in Sydney for tomorrow's Test against New Zealand in Hamilton.

The Llanelli flanker Dafydd Jones, who missed the game against the world champions because of a shoulder injury, comes in for Jonathan Thomas, Swansea's 20-year-old forward. Thomas, who had an encouraging debut in Sydney, moves on to the bench in place of Alix Popham, who is the only one of last weekend's 22 to miss out.

Jones played a major role for Wales in the Six Nations but was hit by a six-week ban in April and May after being sent off in the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Perpignan.

Hansen said: "People have asked me whether I was tempted to make further changes, well, the answer to that is no. We've brought 29 players out here so we can play two games at the highest level and to give some of the younger ones a taste of what it's like to tour."

Martyn Williams, the captain, had been the only other concern for Hansen after the Cardiff flanker turned an ankle in an accidental collision with Robin McBryde in training on Tuesday.

But when the side arrived in Hamilton yesterday Williams declared himself fully fit. He has been Welsh rugby's most consistent performer over the past year and his battle tomorrow with Marty Hohler promises to be the most intriguing of the night.

WALES: R Williams; M Jones, J Robinson, M Taylor, T Shanklin; S Jones, G Cooper; I Thomas, R McBryde, G Jenkins, G Llewellyn, R Sidoli, D Jones, M Williams (capt), C Charvis. Replacements: M Davies, B Evans, C Wyatt, J Thomas, D Peel, C Sweeney, G Henson.

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