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Davies to debut as one of fantastic five

14th June 2017

Seb Davies will make his Wales debut as one of five Cardiff Blues players to start against Tonga at Eden Park on Saturday (6:30am BST).

He is joined in the pack by Blues teammates Josh Navidi and Kristian Dacey as Robin McBryde names an exciting mix of youth and experience.

Gareth Anscombe also returns to his former stomping ground at full-back, while Alex Cuthbert, who has been in red hot form for the region, is picked on the wing.

The game is part of the Pasifika Challenge double-header, which will see the All Blacks taking on Samoa following the conclusion of Tonga v Wales. The large Tongan population in Auckland is set to make the iconic Eden Park a home from home for head coach and 1999 World Cup-winning Wallaby Toutai Kefu's team. 

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our players to be taking part in this match at Eden Park, and we expect them to make the most of it," says McBryde, whose team has been based in Takapuna on Auckland's North Shore. 

"We've got an average age of 25 in the match squad, but there are experienced heads in there. We'll need them all to be on top form against what will undoubtedly be a passionate, tough Tongan team.

"We've had a very good week in Auckland. The younger players have gained a valuable insight into what is expected of an international rugby player, with much of that being led by the senior players' example. 

“That learning process will continue this Friday in Eden Park, and again when we head to Samoa for next Friday's Test match in Apia."

There are two more Cardiff Blues on the bench with Ellis Jenkins covering the back-row and Dillon Lewis also in line to make his full international debut if he comes off the bench.

Wales team to face Tonga

15 Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues, 9 caps)
14 Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues, 46 caps)
13 Scott Williams (Scarlets, 46 caps)
12 Jamie Roberts (c) (Harlequins, 94 caps)
11 Steffan Evans (Scarlets, uncapped)
10 Sam Davies (Ospreys, 6 caps)
9 Gareth Davies (Scarlets, 24 caps)
1 Nicky Smith (Ospreys, 12 caps)
2 Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues, 3 caps)
3 Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
4 Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues, uncapped)
5 Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons, 5 caps)
6 Aaron Shingler (Scarlets, 8 caps)
7 Thomas Young (Wasps, uncapped)
8 Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues, 1 cap)


16 Ryan Elias (Scarlets, uncapped) 
17 Wyn Jones (Scarlets, uncapped)
18 Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues, uncapped)
19 Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues, 3 caps)
20 Ollie Griffiths (Newport Gwent Dragons, uncapped)
21 Aled Davies (Scarlets, uncapped)
22 Owen Williams (Gloucester, uncapped)  
23 Cory Allen (Ospreys, 4 caps)

Tonga v Wales will be shown live on S4C from 06:15 BST.