Holmes to make Wales debut against Tonga

Ellis Jenkins (Getty Images)
Ellis Jenkins (Getty Images)

Cardiff - Leicester back Jonah Holmes will make his Wales debut against Tonga this week, the Welsh Rugby Union announced on Thursday.

Holmes, born in Stockport, northwest England, qualifies for Wales through his Welsh grandmother.

He takes his place in a Wales side, fresh from last week's 9-6 win over Australia in Cardiff, alongside Saracens wing Liam Williams will earn his 50th cap.

Cardiff Blues flanker Ellis Jenkins captains a team where there are also starts for centre Tyler Morgan, scrumhalf Tomos Williams, No. 8 Seb Davies, flanker Aaron Wainwright and prop Leon Brown in 14 changes from the victory over the Wallabies.

"Saturday is a fantastic opportunity for a number of players," said Wales coach Warren Gatland, whose side have yet to lose this month after Cardiff wins over Scotland and Australia.

"It is Jonah's first game, which is exciting, and Liam reaches his 50th, which is a great achievement.

"We have spoken about creating depth, and for us that is all about creating a squad that is full of first-teamers. Everyone in the squad is capable of starting."

"The boys this weekend have to put their hand up for the final match (against South Africa) and put pressure on the players who started last weekend."

The New Zealander added: "Ellis captains the team for the second time, while making his first start at home, and for Wyn (Scarlets prop Wyn Jones), it is his first start after nine appearances off the bench.

"It's important to realise when selecting a team that we look at all these things in terms of experience, starts, depth balance and opportunity, and all that goes into the mix."

Teams:

Wales 

15 Jonah Holmes 14 Liam Williams, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Seb Davies, 7 Ellis Jenkins (captain), 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Leon Brown, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Wyn Jones

Substitutes: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Josh Adams

Tonga

TBA

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