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BBC Wales's Bob Humphrys
"As they say, if you're good enough, you're old enough"
 real 28k

The BBC's David Parry-Jones
"Jenkins will face a fight to get his place back"
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Wales new cap Rhys Williams
"It's something I've been dreaming of since I was six"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 29 March, 2000, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Wales opt for uncapped fullback
Rhys Williams
Rhys Williams is feeling fantastic getting his first cap
Wales coach Graham Henry has gambled on untested fullback Rhys Williams for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Ireland at Lansdowne Road.

Six Nations Championship
The Cardiff 20-year-old will win his first cap as a replacement for the concussed Kiwi Matt Cardey, who himself debuted in the tournament against Scotland two weeks ago.

Williams is the third fullback Henry has been forced to use, following the loss of New Zealander Shane Howarth in a row about his eligibility.

The latest recruit made his mark in the Wales under-19 side that lost to New Zealand in a junior World Cup final last year.

"It's a fantastic feeling " said Williams.



The fact that someone like Graham Henry has shown faith in me is a huge boost to my confidence

Rhys Williams
"The fact that someone like Graham Henry has shown faith in me is a huge boost to my confidence.

"With the likes of Allan Bateman, Rupert Moon and the others around me, I'm surrounded by experienced men."

Williams is the only alteration to the side that scraped uneasily past Scotland at the Millennium Stadium.


Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor - forced to miss training
Henry is still waiting on the fitness of centre Mark Taylor.

The leg injury suffered in a club game last Sunday is still troubling the Swansea centre, so team-mate Scott Gibbs is on standby to take over the number 12 jersey.

Henry said: "Mark has probably been one of the most consistent players for Wales over the last 20 games or so.

"I've asked him not to play unless he is right because we cannot afford to go into this game with someone who is 80%.

"He is a professional and understands what I'm talking about."


Graham Henry
Graham Henry - given advice to Mark Taylor
Although only seven players remain from the team which started the Six Nations championship against France, Henry says the new-look side is coming together.

In a surprise move, flyhalf Stephen Jones keeps his place in preference to fit-again Neil Jenkins, who is on the bench.

It's the backbone of the team which displayed such character in adversity against the Scots," he said.

"In Rhys Williams, we have a young man who almost exactly replicates the skills of Matt Cardey.

"It'll be a huge test in every way and if we are to win everyone will need to perform at absolute optimum."

Team

15-Rhys Williams; 14-Gareth Thomas, 13-Allan Bateman, 12-Mark Taylor (or Scott Gibbs), 11-Shane Williams; 10-Stephen Jones, 9-Rupert Moon; 8-Geraint Lewis, 7-Colin Charvis, 6-Nathan Budgett, 5-Andy Moore, 4-Ian Gough, 3-David Young (captain), 2-Garin Jenkins, 1-Peter Rogers

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See also:

28 Mar 00 | Rugby Union
Welsh call up for Lewis
23 Mar 00 | Six Nations
Johns pays for sin-binning
22 Mar 00 | Rugby Union
Sinkinson: I'm not eligible for Wales
18 Mar 00 | Six Nations
Williams double rocks Scots
22 Mar 00 | Rugby Union
Eligibility row hits Scotland
21 Mar 00 | Rugby Union
Aussies slap Wales with 60,000 bill
20 Mar 00 | Rugby Union
Henry 'determined' to finish task
17 Mar 00 | Six Nations
O'Driscoll treble seals historic win
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