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Page last updated at 06:00 GMT, Thursday, 17 June 2010 07:00 UK

Wales call on Gavin Thomas and Andrew Bishop

Venue: Carisbrook, Dunedin Date: Saturday, 19 June Kick-off: 0835 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales MW & online, score updates online, live on Sky Sports 1

Flanker Gavin Thomas last played for Wales against Australia in June 2007
Flanker Gavin Thomas last played for Wales against Australia in June 2007

Wales have named flanker Gavin Thomas and centre Andrew Bishop to face New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday while Alun Wyn Jones returns at lock.

Sam Warburton's injury and Martyn Williams' decision not to tour see Thomas reclaim the number seven jersey.

Bishop takes over at outside centre from James Hook, who missed the tour to undergo shoulder surgery.

Jones replaces Deiniol Jones, who is on the bench, while replacement scrum-half Tavis Knoyle could make his debut.

Thomas, 32, has not appeared for Wales since their June 2007 tour to Australia and this time last year he was pondering his future after the Scarlets terminated his contract.

But after a series of impressive displays for Newport Gwent Dragons he now faces the formidable challenge of New Zealand captain Richie McCaw.

Gavin [Thomas] has probably been the form open-side in Wales

Wales blind-side Jonathan Thomas

The 22-times-capped player has the backing of fellow flanker Jonathan Thomas.

"Gavin has probably been the form open-side in Wales," said Osprey Thomas.

"He's a quality player and will relish the opportunity."

Wales were weakened by pre-tour injuries to British and Irish Lions Shane Williams, Gethin Jenkins, Andy Powell, Gareth Cooper and Tom Shanklin, while Dwayne Peel was rested.

Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate, Duncan Jones, Richard Hibbard, Dafydd Jones, Tom James and Mark Jones are also sidelined with injuries, while Gareth Delve was not considered.

Wing Leigh Halfpenny (upset stomach) and lock Bradley Davies (knee) overcome their problems this week to retain their places in the starting line-up.

But Blues scrum-half Richie Rees has dropped out of the match-day 22 with 20-year-old Knoyle coming on to the bench.

In his debut season for the Scarlets, Knoyle edged his scrum-half rivalry with another Welsh international, Martin Roberts.

Wales coach Warren Gatland said: "Tavis is another player to have impressed and as a firm believer that 'if you are good enough you are old enough' I know he won't let anyone down if we need him on Saturday.

"We are playing one of the best sides in the world at the moment on home soil and they don't come much bigger than this.

"But we are determined and there is a quiet self-belief creeping through the squad at the moment which makes me feel we are capable of producing a performance to be proud of against the All Blacks."

Bishop, 24, has also been on form for the Ospreys in the wake of Gavin Henson's self-imposed exile and will win his 11th cap.

Ospreys lock Jones chipped an elbow during the Six Nations clash with Scotland and after returning to fitness and form with his region, was on the bench when Wales lost 34-31 to South Africa in Cardiff on 5 June.

But he returns as Blues rival Deiniol Jones drops to the bench.

Saturday's sold-out Test in Dunedin will be the final international to be played at the old stadium in Carisbrook, the new Forsyth Barr Stadium under construction ahead of the 2011 World Cup.

Scrum V guide to New Zealand

Wales complete their two-Test tour against New Zealand at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton on 26 June.

The men in red have not beaten the All Blacks since 1953 and have never triumphed over them in New Zealand.

Their last victory over one of the Tri-Nations superpowers in the southern hemisphere was in New Zealand, though, Wales beating Australia 22-21 in Rotorua in the third-place play-off for the 1987 World Cup.

Wales' solitary victory on the home turf of one of the Tri-Nations giants was the 19-16 triumph over the Wallabies at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1969.

The last match between Wales and the All Blacks in New Zealand was in Hamilton in 2003, when the home side won by a record 55-3 score, one of 22 Test victories for the southern hemisphere outfit in 25 matches between the two.

Wales: Lee Byrne (Ospreys); Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Andrew Bishop (Ospreys), Jamie Roberts (Blues), Tom Prydie (Ospreys); Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Ospreys); Paul James (Ospreys), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Jonathan Thomas (Ospreys), Gavin Thomas (Newport Gwent Dragons), Ryan Jones (capt).
Replacements: Huw Bennett (Ospreys), John Yapp (Blues), Deiniol Jones (Blues), Rob McCusker (Scarlets), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets).

Wales tour squad:

Forwards: Bradley Davies, Deiniol Jones, John Yapp (all Cardiff Blues), Huw Bennett, Paul James, Adam Jones, Ian Gough, Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones (capt), Jonathan Thomas, Craig Mitchell (all Ospreys), Rob McCusker, Ken Owens, Matthew Rees, (all Scarlets), Gavin Thomas, (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Backs: Leigh Halfpenny, Richie Rees, Jamie Roberts (all Cardiff Blues), Dan Biggar, Andrew Bishop, Lee Byrne, Mike Phillips, Tom Prydie (all Ospreys), Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones, Tavis Knoyle (all Scarlets), Will Harries (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Standby list to cover injuries (still in UK):

Blues: Scott Andrews, Chris Czekaj, Rhys Thomas.

Scarlets: Martin Roberts.

Dragons: Jason Tovey.

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see also
All Black Vito in to face Wales
15 Jun 10 |  Welsh
Thomas relishes battle with McCaw
17 Jun 10 |  Welsh
Thomas demands Wales discipline
16 Jun 10 |  Welsh
Gatland wants Welsh self-belief
14 Jun 10 |  Welsh
Jones eyes All Blacks arm-wrestle
14 Jun 10 |  Welsh
NZ's 'hands off' message to Wales
14 Jun 10 |  Welsh
Phillips determined before Tests
11 Jun 10 |  Welsh
New Zealand 66-28 Ireland
12 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
Wales' NZ tour in photos
26 Jun 10 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
All Blacks magic: New Zealand rugby
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Country profile: New Zealand
28 Nov 11 |  Country profiles
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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