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Cai Evans

Cai Evans replaces Liam Williams at full-back

Wales make changes to starting line-up for Springboks clash

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It is the second time this summer that the son of a former Wales international has made his debut, Max Llewellyn was the first against England, following in the footsteps of his 92-times capped father Gareth, while Teddy Williams is hoping to follow suit off the bench this weekend. His father, Owain, won one cap int he nineties, while his uncle, Gareth Williams, was also capped.

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Cai Evans will win his first Welsh cap against South Africa on Saturday after being called into the side to take over from Liam Williams.

Originally selected among the replacements for the final game in the Vodafone Summer Series, the 24-year-old will make his debut 36 years on from when his father won the first of his then record 72 caps. His dad, Ieuan Evans, captained Wales, went on three tours with the British & Irish Lions and was more recently chair of the Welsh Rugby Union.

As well as a change at full back, Warren Gatland has also pulled Dan Biggar out of the team. His place will be taken by Sam Costelow, with Tom Rogers taking the place on the bench vacated by Evans’ elevation into the starting XV.

Gatland is due to announce his 33-man squad for the World Cup on Monday,  and with Taulupe Faletau, Ryan Elias, Dewi Lake, Gareth Anscombe and Taine Plumtree already carrying knocks, he decided to stand down two of his most experienced players.

“Dan has had an irritation in his back and Liam has a tight hamstring. So, we’ve decided to give Sam Costelow another chance at outside half and brought in Cai Evans at full back,” said Gatland. 

“Both Dan and Liam could have played if we pushed them. If it had been a World Cup semi-final then they would have started. It’s using a bit of adversity as a positive. I’m excited for Sam, and we are dealing with something that could be thrown at us at the World Cup. 

“We are confident that all the players carrying injuries will be fit and available in time for the first game at the World Cup against Fiji,” added Gatland. 

Wales kick-off their Pool C campaign against the Fijians in Bordeaux on Sunday 10 September. 

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