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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
Wales debut for second row James
Gloucester lock Will James
Will James, 30, has waited a long time for his Wales chance
Gloucester lock Will James will make his Wales debut in Saturday's Test with England at Twickenham.

Llanelli Scarlets' Dafydd James wins a recall to the wing over a year since his last outing in a Wales jersey.

Colin Charvis has recovered from vertigo to play at open-side flanker, with Alun Wyn Jones at blind-side and Michael Owen at number eight.

Ceri Sweeney and Gareth Cooper will be the half-back partnership with Gareth Thomas, playing at centre, captain.

Thomas, who will be the first Welsh player to reach 50 career Test wins if his side beat England on Saturday, will be joined in midfield by his Cardiff Blues team-mate Tom Shanklin.

Lee Byrne gets the nod at full-back while Ospreys team-mate Aled Brew takes the right-wing berth to win only his third cap.

Will [James] has impressed in training throughout the summer

Wales coach Gareth Jenkins

Chris Horsman, Huw Bennett and Iestyn Thomas form the front row, with Rob Sidoli partnering 30-year-old debutant James in the second row.

Blues wing Tom James will also win his first cap if he comes off the bench.

Wales coach has said his selection for Twickenham would reflect his first-choice World Cup line-up, but his side has an experimental feel to it with stars such as Dwayne Peel and James Hook rested.

"It's important that we have a final look at certain players and combinations and this selection accommodates that," said Jenkins.

"Inside centre is one of the areas we are not absolutely clear about in terms of how our combinations are going to work.

"We are very comfortable with Gareth [Thomas] in that position and this is an excellent opportunity to give him another run there.

606: DEBATE
Drunk Rookie

"Gareth is well established and respected as a captain and the players will respond to him very well in Stephen's [Jones] absence on Saturday.

"Stephen's injury also gives Ceri Sweeney an opportunity he deserves to start at fly-half.

"He hasn't had the chance for over a year at this level to start there and so should relish it.

"Up front it's the same story for us, again selection is about giving opportunity to players who didn't have a chance in the Six Nations.

"With Ryan Jones out, Michael gets an opportunity at number eight and Colin shows us how flexible and versatile an option he is by featuring at open-side flanker.

"It was always going to be the case that the Australia tour would bring some players to the fore and that was the case for both of those players.

"Will [James] has impressed in training throughout the summer, he is not a young man at 30 but he is young in terms of rugby life. He has impressed everyone and has a real chance if he goes well on Saturday."

Fly-half Jones will have a further consultation on his groin injury on Wednesday after a scan showed a muscle tear.

Shane Williams (elbow) is ruled out and could be doubtful for the rest of the August warm-up Tests, while Sonny Parker (hamstring) was not considered for the England game.

Gavin Henson (Achilles) has joined Ryan Jones (shoulder) in being ruled out of the World Cup because of injury.

After Twickenham, Jenkins' team face Argentina (18 August) and France (26 August) at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, but squads must be submitted by 14 August.

Wales' opening World Cup match will be against Canada on 9 September at the La Beaujoire Stadium, Nantes.

The squad will return to Cardiff for Millennium Stadium games against Australia (15 September) and Japan (20 September), with the final pool game against Fiji in Nantes (29 September).


Wales team to face England on Saturday, 4 August at Twickenham (1600 BST):

L Byrne (Ospreys); A Brew (Ospreys), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues), G Thomas (Cardiff Blues, capt), D James (Llanelli Scarlets); C Sweeney (Newport Gwent Dragons), G Cooper (Gloucester); I Thomas (Llanelli Scarlets), H Bennett (Ospreys), C Horsman (Worcester), W James (Gloucester), R Sidoli (Cardiff Blues), A W Jones (Ospreys), C Charvis (Newport Gwent Dragons), M Owen (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Replacements: G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), R Thomas (Newport Gwent Dragons), T R Thomas (Newport Gwent Dragons), A Popham (Llanelli Scarlets), M Phillips (Ospreys), J Hook (Ospreys), T James (Cardiff Blues).



SEE ALSO
Rugby World Cup 2007 fixtures
11 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union
Centre Hipkiss gets England call
31 Jul 07 |  English


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