It was a proud moment for Scarlets fly-half Sam Costelow on Saturday as he made his Wales senior debut after coming on as a second-half replacement in the Autumn Series defeat to the All Blacks.
The 21-year-old became the 246th player to represent the Scarlets on the international stage with Vaea Fifita also adding his name to that list. The forward, previously capped 11 times for the All Blacks, started in Tonga’s 40-6 win over Spain in Malaga.
Ken Owens, the lone Scarlet in Wales’ starting XV following the withdrawal of Leigh Halfpenny because of injury, was the pick of the home side in his first match for his country for the best part of 20 months. Costelow, Ryan Elias and Kieran Hardy all came off the bench, but couldn’t prevent a dominant New Zealand side running out 55-23 winners at the Principality Stadium.
Wales will look to bounce back when they take on a buoyant Argentina on Saturday evening. Los Pumas stunned Twickenham with a shock victory over England in their opening match of the autumn.
As for Tonga, the next stop on their northern hemisphere tour is Bucharest where they face Chile.