Llanelli Scarlets flank Dafydd Jones has been recalled to the Wales team that will face the Springboks in the first of two Tests in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The 28-year-old’s inclusion will not only earn him his 30th cap from openside flank, but also ensure there are six Joneses in the starting line-up – 40 percent of a team that is captained by Ryan Jones at No.8.
Rugby 365 reports Head coach Warren Gatland has named Dafydd Jones alongside Ryan Jones and Jonathan Thomas in the back row.
The coach decided to name the team early to ensure a full week of preparation for the match squad at their Cape Town training base.
The Cardiff Blues fullback Jamie Roberts is handed his second cap for Wales after winning the race to replace the injured Lee Byrne in the No.15 jersey.
The front five to take on the World Champions will be the familiar Grand Slam line-up of Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Adam Jones, Ian Gough and Alun-Wyn Jones.
There is a new look to the halfback pairing with Gareth Cooper (at No.9) partnering Stephen Jones (No.10), which means Warren Fury and James Hook feature in the match day 22 as replacements.
Wales complete the backline with Mark Jones, Tom Shanklin, Sonny Parker and Shane Williams.
With the positional flexibility offered by Hook and Roberts Wales have named specialist fullback Morgan Stoddart as bench cover.
In the forwards Gareth Delve, Ian Evans, Richard Hibbard and Duncan Jones complete the replacements.
Gatland, who said that “training has been going exceptionally well”, decided to name the team early to give his team the longest possible preparation time with the starting side before Saturday’s showdown.
“I have named Dafydd Jones at No.7 and this is a great opportunity for him to deliver for Wales again,” Gatland added.
“With Jonathan Thomas at No.6, we have two flanks with pace and genuine footballing skills.
“At fullback Jamie Roberts is big, strong and fast enough to counter the attacking force the World Champions will aim at us.
“We are lucky to have two players of the calibre of Stephen Jones and James Hook competing for the No.10 jersey and I am very comfortable with the balance of our back line going into this game.
“We know the size of the challenge we face because we are playing the World Champions on their home turf where Wales have never been able to achieve a victory.
“This is an important tour for this squad and we are determined to leave South Africa having earned the respect of the Springboks.
“It is very important for us to test ourselves against the best sides in the world and these two games will show us precisely where we are on our journey to improve.”
Wales: 15 Jamie Roberts, 14 Mark Jones, 13 Tom Shanklin, 12 Sonny Parker, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Gareth Cooper, 8 Ryan Jones (captain), 7 Dafydd Jones, 6 Jonathan Thomas, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Gethin Jenkins, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Adam Jones
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Ian Evans, 19 Gareth Delve, 20 Warren Fury, 21 James Hook, 22 Morgan Stoddard