Proctor recalled in four Wales changes for Australia

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Things have come full circle for the Llanelli wing Wayne Proctor. His international career began against Australia in Cardiff in 1992, and yesterday he was drafted into the team to face another Wallaby World Cup-winning side.

Things have come full circle for the Llanelli wing Wayne Proctor. His international career began against Australia in Cardiff in 1992, and yesterday he was drafted into the team to face another Wallaby World Cup-winning side.

Again it is in Cardiff, but this time it will be in the Millennium Stadium and Proctor is no longer a raw recruit. There is almost a decade of experience behind him and he is probably fitter and certainly stronger – given that these days he is also Llanelli's fitness trainer.

"I am delighted," said the right wing, who won his 38th cap against Zimbabwe in the summer of 1998. "But I am not the only one. There are 20-odd Llanelli players who will be just as happy because I will not be there to put them through a fitness session on Thursday."

While there will be raised eyebrows at Proctor's inclusion, among the 14 players on the Welsh casualty list are half a dozen who would have been considered. Proctor, who is still only 29, leapfrogs Rhys Williams, who once again finds himself on the bench, despite having scored a try after coming on against Tonga. Henry explained: "I thought this was the best selection for this match. Wayne has the experience."

Scott Quinnell, the Wales captain, is a club-mate of Proctor and he welcomed the return of the winger. "Wayne has been superb for Llanelli this season. He is fit and experienced and it is good to see that he has been rewarded."

In all, Henry has been forced into making four changes from the side which put a half-century on Tonga. Jamie Robinson, the very speedy Cardiff winger gets his first start after coming on as a replacement for his first four caps. He replaces Allan Bateman, who has a hamstring injury.

Spencer John starts at loose head prop for Iestyn Thomas (broken toe), Proctor is in for Anthony Sullivan (shoulder) and he takes over the right wing berth, forcing Gareth Thomas on to the left as the final change.

While the match is special for Proctor and his Llanelli charges, it also is a landmark for the Wales scrum-half, Rob Howley. He will be winning his 54th cap, making him Wales' most-capped scrum-half, ahead of Robert Jones, who made the same number of appearances, but one of those was on the wing.

Comments