Wales promote Williams to the senior side

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Rugby Union

Martyn Williams has been rewarded for his impressive Students' World Cup with promotion to the senior Wales side for their match against the Barbarians at the National Stadium, Cardiff, on 24 August.

The 20-year-old Pontypridd flanker is the only newcomer to a team showing three changes from the side which were overwhelmed 42-3 in the second Test against Australia in June. "Martyn has great potential and creative ability, the nose and hunger of a typical open-side flanker," Kevin Bowring, the Wales coach, said.

Williams is involved in a complete reshuffle of the back row following Andrew Gibbs' illness and will play at open-side flanker, allowing Steve Williams to revert to No 8 and Hemi Taylor to blind-side duties.

Leigh Davies, who missed the second Test with a shoulder injury, will pick up his seventh cap in the centre. He takes over from Gareth Thomas, who switches to the left wing in place of Simon Hill.

The other change involves John Davies resuming at tight-head prop for his 30th international in place of Lyndon Mustoe, who is relegated to the bench.

Wales will be meeting the Barbarians for the third time in their history - they were beaten 26-10 in 1915 in an uncapped game and lost 31-24 in 1990 in a capped fixture.

Wales have refused to take Scott Quinnell's strike over pay seriously even though he has refused to attend training and has not been selected for the squad. Quinnell's agent, Mike Burton, wants the Welsh to treat the former rugby league star as a special case and increase the amount he is paid for appearances. But Terry Cobner, the WRU director of rugby, is confident the disagreement can be resolved.

Meanwhile, the Barbarians have announced a change in their line-up for Saturday's Dunblane international against Scotland at Murrayfield. Mike Brewer, the New Zealand flanker, has withdrawn from the side and will be replaced by the Fijian Marika Gasuna. The new replacement is the former Scotland flanker Dave McIvor.

Second Division Moseley have dismissed the former England centre, Barrie Corless, as their playing director. Corless, who had been in charge at The Reddings for only 17 months, has been replaced by the New Zealander Mark Anscombe who had previously coached in Ireland.

Gloucester coaching director, Richard Hill, has signed the former England Under-21 scrum-half Simon Johnson from his old club, Bath. Johnson, now 23, recently returned from South Africa where he played in England's three games in the Students' World Cup.

n The New Zealand winger Jeff Wilson and stand-off Andrew Mehrtens have been injured in training and are doubtful for the first of three Tests against South Africa in Durban on Saturday. Mehrtens has suffered a recurrence of a knee injury while Wilson has hurt his right ankle.

Wales team, Digest, page 4

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