Four Scarlets named in Autumn Series opener against New Zealand


Head coach Wayne Pivac has named the Wales senior men’s team to face New Zealand in the opening round of the Autumn Nations Series.

Wales play the All Blacks in front of a full house under the closed Principality Stadium roof on Saturday 5 November KO 3.15pm GMT. The match is live on Amazon Prime, with England and Welsh broadcasts. There are also highlights on S4C.

Two Scarlets are named in the starting line up with Ken Owens returning to the number two shirt and Leigh Halfpenny, who will also make his first appearance for Wales in over a year.

Among the replacements Ryan Elias, Nicky Smith and Dillon Lewis provide the front row cover. Kieran Hardy, Rhys Priestland and Owen Watkin round out the Wales match day squad.

Wayne Pivac said:  “It’s great having Ken Owens, Justin Tipuric and Leigh Halfpenny back. They bring a lot of experience and they are big game players. Playing New Zealand doesn’t get much bigger so we’re really looking forward to having them back in the side.

“We can’t wait for it, the players are looking forward to it and we just want the fans to get in there and be loud and really get behind the boys and be that 16th player that we know they are.”

Wales senior men’s team to play New Zealand in the Autumn Nations Series (Saturday 5 November, KO 3.15pm GMT. Live on Amazon Prime (English and Welsh broadcasts) with highlights on S4C)

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets – 96 caps)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 19 caps)
13. George North (Ospreys – 105 caps)
12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 23 caps)
11. Rio Dyer (Dragons – uncapped)
10. Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys – 32 caps)
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 36 caps)
1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 13 caps)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets – 82 caps)
3. Tomas Francis (Ospreys – 65 caps)
4. Will Rowlands (Dragons – 21 caps)
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 37 caps)
6. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys – 85 caps) captain
7. Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 3 caps)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby – 91 caps)

16. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 30 caps)
17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys – 41 caps)
18. Dillon Lews (Cardiff Rugby- 41 caps)
19. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys – 153 caps)
20. Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs – 2 caps)
21. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 14 caps)
22. Rhys Priestland (Cardiff Rugby – 52 caps)
23. Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 33 caps)