The likely Welsh team to face South Africa with Wayne Pivac will make five changes

After a record 54:16 home defeat to New Zealand, what will Wales coach Wayne Pivac do about his team selection to face South Africa next week?

He will have a number of extra players available, but there are also a few fresh injuries in the camp.

So here’s our best guess what the Welsh team will be like against world champions Springboks.

15. Liam Williams

Sanjay has not played since the Lions tour as he had surgery to remove his appendix.

But he’s back in full training and he’s strong again in the race.

Johnny McNicholl has had some good moments in attack and under the high ball against the Kiwis, but chances are likely Williams will come in at 15 despite his lack of rugby lately given his all-around play.

14. Louis Rees-Zammit

After failing to face New Zealand in England, Gloucester’s wing comes into camp and most likely into the team.

Owen Lane did not let himself get down, with an excellent promotion and relegation and a strong defensive performance that drew a Beauden Barrett knock-on who might have seen a yellow card.

So he will have more testing ahead of him, but one would expect Wales to turn to the Rees-Zammit X-Factor.

13. Jonathan Davies

Nick Tompkins is another England-based player who becomes available and is doing well for Saracens while being able to fill either of the middle places.

So at 13 he’s an option, while taking Owen Lane into the position where he played his age-appropriate rugby would be a really brave move.

However, Pivac could cling to the longstanding experience of the replacement skipper Davies, especially given the physical threat the springboks in midfield will pose.

12. Johnny Williams

Given his stellar form early in the season, his understanding with Jonathan Davies, and the fact that he’ll be staying at the camp for an extra week after being drafted, there are strong arguments for Scott Williams to get a run at 12.

He likely tops the list of options if there is a change, with Willis Halaholo completing his Covid isolation period only a few days before the game, Nick Tompkins not yet on board and Ben Thomas having found his feet on the international stage .

But the solid defense from Saturday’s attempt scorer, Johnny Williams, could play it in his favor, though difficult to decide.

11. Josh Adams

He had little chance in space, but he worked hard and tried to get involved against New Zealand whenever he could.

A pinned selection to compete against South Africa as well.

10. Rhys Priestland

Pivac said he found Priestland played exceptionally well when he came on as a substitute for the All Blacks and he certainly didn’t look like someone who hasn’t been on the international stage for four years.

He brought tactical control and his cultivating kick for Johnny Williams’ attempt was nicely weighted.

So he seems to be ahead of Gareth Anscombe in the pecking order and could well be rewarded with the # 10 jersey despite Dan Biggar arriving from Northampton.

9. Tomos Williams

After the revolving door policy at half scrum for the last year or so, it’s probably time someone got into the position.

So one would expect Williams to continue to offer his quick pass and quick feet while Gareth Jenkins and Kieran Hardy vie for the bench seat.

1. Wyn Jones

Was pinged in a scrum but put in a lot of work making no fewer than ten 10 tackles in the first 25 minutes.

Looks like a pretty sure starter again on the loosehead, allowing him to resume his fight with the Springboks after the third Lions test.

2. Ken Owens

They keep their fingers crossed for the sheriff’s condition because Wales urgently needs him on board against the ‘Boks’.

The line-up failed at key moments on Saturday, resulting in key attack positions being wasted and Owens’ skilled expertise is required to sort things out there.

If the fitness problem that forced him to withdraw from the side persists, what then? Will Ryan Elias stay after his irregular darts, will Kirby Myhill be promoted from the bench or could there even be a wildcard start for the aggressive ball carrier Bradley Roberts against his country of birth?

3. Tomas Francis

One of the other selections that looks like a foregone conclusion with the die-hard Ospreys tighthead who will win his 59th international next weekend.

4. Adam Beard

Won the platforming line-up for Wales’ attempt, sometimes showing off his link work.

His mouth defense will be important against the ‘Boks as his telescopic range is very convenient.

5. Alun Wyn Jones (captain)

When he left the field after injuring his shoulder while fighting Jordie Barrett, it was feared that he would be gone for the remainder of the campaign.

But we thought so before this year, right? After the game, Pivac said the skipper was in no pain or discomfort and certainly wouldn’t stop him from winning his 150th international match against the Boks.

We’re going to have to wait for the results of a scan, of course – with Will Rowlands the man to start if necessary – but you know better than to write off AWJ.

6. Ellis Jenkins

Expect Ellis Jenkins to be back in Wales colors

Ross Moriarty threatens a prolonged layoff with a shoulder joint injury, so who starts at 6?

With Wainwright going to continue at number 8, there is no one in the roster that you would consider a natural seasoned blindsider.

So you see Seb Davies from Cardiff, Opensides Ellis Jenkins and Thomas Young or the young Christ Tshiunza without a cap.

He actually started in 6th place in the game against South Africa, where he sustained his horrific knee injury three years ago.

It would surely be an ultra mobile, dynamic, and exciting back row unit.

7. Taine Basham

It’s a pretty fair bet that the Dragons youngster will keep the Openside seat as Pivac picked him as Wales’ Man of the Match.

Since it was his first test start and he was up against the All Blacks, it was an accomplishment from the Talywain product, which turns 22 on Tuesday.

Do a great job in the breakdown and carried with real purpose and intent, striking over its weight. Has a great future ahead of it.

8. Aaron Wainwright

As Taulupe Faletau does not have to resume training after an ankle injury that has prevented him since the Lions tour, there will be no change here.

And even if Faletau was available, Wainwright would deserve to keep his place at the bottom of the crush.

His brave ball-in-hand running and defensive effort made him one of the other positives of the day and confirmed Pivac’s belief that number 8 is his best position.

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