Ton up for Jones as Wales opt for experience
Prop Jones will represent his country for the 95th time to go with five appearances for the British & Irish Lions in an experienced Wales team named by coach Warren Gatland on Thursday.
“A lot of this side have experienced playing over here before in big games and this week is no different, it’s going to be a brilliant occasion, the atmosphere will be electric and hopefully it will be a great test match,” Gatland said in a statement released by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).
Gatland also named two uncapped players in his match-day squad with Scarlets scrumhalf Gareth Davies and Ospreys’ flyhalf Matthew Morgan listed as replacements.
Mike Phillips and Dan Biggar continue their half-back partnership, as do Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies in the midfield. George North and Alex Cuthbert line-up on the wings, with Liam Williams starting at fullback. In the pack, Adam Jones is joined in the front-row by Gethin Jenkins, who will be making a record 106th appearance for Wales, and Ken Owens.
Luke Charteris will partner captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second-row with Aaron Shingler joining Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau in the back-row.
The tourists put in a slick performance in defeating South African provincial side Eastern Province Kings 34-12 in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday and Gatland admitted to being pleased with preparations.
“We started the tour well on Tuesday against EP Kings but it’s important we go out on Saturday and perform to the level we know we can,” he said.
“A test series in South Africa is always a tough challenge, but we are excited by it and looking forward to getting out there on Saturday.
“As coaches, we have been impressed in training over the last couple of weeks and there were a couple of tough calls to make but it’s great guys like Gareth and Matthew have a chance after putting their hands up.”
Hooker Matthew Rees, who this past season received treatment for testicular cancer, features on the bench.
Wales: 15-Liam Williams, 14-Alex Cuthbert, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Jamie Roberts, 11-George North, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Mike Phillips, 8-Taulupe Faletau, 7-Aaron Shingler, 6-Dan Lydiate, 5-Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4-Luke Charteris, 3-Adam Jones, 2-Ken Owens, 1-Gethin Jenkins
Replacements: 16-Matthew Rees, 17-Paul James, 18-Samson Lee, 19-Ian Evans, 20-Josh Turnbull, 21-Gareth Davies , 22-James Hook, 23-Matthew Morgan
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by John O’Brien)