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Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 12:57 GMT
Sidoli faces All Blacks
Llanelli flanker Dafydd Jones
Dafydd Jones keeps his place at blindside flanker
Wales v New Zealand | Millennium Stadium, Cardiff | Saturday 23 November | Kick-off 1430 GMT

Live on BBC1, BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, and Cymru'r Byd and BBC Sport Online.

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Robert Sidoli has been recalled to Wales' starting line-up for Saturday's clash with New Zealand in Cardiff.

The Pontypridd lock was rested for last week's win over Canada, having produced a fine performance in the previous autumn Test against Fiji.

The second-row tinkering is the only change made by Wales coach Steve Hansen from the XV who started at the Millennium Stadium against Canada.

Wales lock Robert Sidoli
Robert Sidoli has worked his way through the ranks

However, there will be no Scott Quinnell on the bench after the former Wales skipper's Test retirement last week.

Vernon Cooper, who made his international debut last week, is the man to miss out, not even making the bench because of the presence of the adaptable Michael Owen

Sidoli's Pontypridd team-mate Owen had been tipped to start at blindside flanker instead of Dafydd Jones because of his extra bulk.

But the Llanelli youngster keeps his place on the strength of impressive back-to-back performances and will win his third cap.

Owen can cover lock, blindside and No 8, with Richard Parks - one of four Ponty players on the bench - adding options at numbers seven or six.

Bridgend's Dafydd James returns to the replacements' bench, after he was suspended ahead of the Canada game for leaving the team hotel overnight without permission.

Wales captain Colin Charvis will win his 50th cap, while Neath lock Gareth Llewellyn makes a 71st Test match appearance, 13 years after his debut, against New Zealand.

Wales have beaten the All Blacks just three times from 17 starts - in 1905, 1935 and 1953 - but have lost on 14 successive occasions, a sequence stretching back almost 40 years.

Hansen's New Zealand countrymen have not enjoyed their best mini-tour of the northern hemisphere, having lost to England and drawn with France.

But John Mitchell's relatively inexperienced - in international terms - side will be looking to finish their trip on a high.


Launch new window : Tri-Nations profiles
BBC Sport Online's players to watch


Wales: R Williams (Cardiff); M Jones (Llanelli), J Robinson (Cardiff), S Parker (Pontypridd), G Thomas (Bridgend); S Jones (Llanelli), D Peel (Llanelli); I Thomas (Llanelli), R McBryde (Llanelli), B Evans (Swansea), R Sidoli (Pontypridd), G Llewellyn (Neath), D Jones (Llanelli), M Williams (Cardiff), C Charvis (Swansea, capt).
Replacements: M Davies (Pontypridd), G Jenkins (Pontypridd), M Owen (Pontypridd), R Parks (Pontypridd), R Powell (Cardiff), I Harris (Cardiff), D James (Bridgend).

New Zealand: B Blair; D Howlett, R King, T Umaga, J Lomu; A Mehrtens, S Devine; T Woodcock, K Mealamu, C Hayman, K Robinson, A Williams, T Randell (capt), D Braid, R So'oialo.
Replacements: A Hore, K Meeuws, B Mika, M Holah, D Lee, P Steinmetz, M Robinson.

Wales play four Tests against Romania, Fiji, Canada and New Zealand

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