Warburton will start for Wales against All Blacks

Sam Warburton has captained Wales a record 45 times

Sam Warburton has captained Wales a record 45 times

Wales captain Sam Warburton has recovered from a shoulder injury to start against world champions New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday.

Open-side flanker Warburton, out since 30 April, replaces the injured Dan Lydiate and is one of five changes to the team beaten by England last month.

Second row Alun Wyn Jones will win his 100th cap for Wales at Eden Park.

Prop Gethin Jenkins, hooker Ken Owens and lock Bradley Davies return, as does centre Jonathan Davies.

Wales have not beaten the All Blacks in 26 matches since 1953.

Ross Moriarty retains his place at blind-side flanker, while uncapped flanker Ellis Jenkins is named on the replacements’ bench after being called into the squad following Lydiate’s injury.

Jones, who has also won six caps for the British and Irish Lions, becomes Wales’ fifth centurion.

Jenkins replaces Rob Evans at loose-head prop, Owens comes in for Scott Baldwin and Bradley Davies takes Jake Ball’s place.

Jonathan Davies, who comes in for Scott Williams, missed the defeat at Twickenham because he was on Top 14 duty with Clermont Auvergne.


Alun Wyn Jones made his Wales debut against Argentina in 2006

“We are under no illusions how tough the Test series will be against the back-to-back world champions but the players are also aware how important this tour is,” head coach Warren Gatland said.

“It’s an opportunity for a couple of boys to start and we are bringing in experience with Gethin, Ken and Bradley.

“In the midfield it’s nice to have that experienced combination back and the players who move to the bench will still have an impact on game day.”

New Zealand are unbeaten at Eden Park since 1994 and the match will be their first since beating Australia 34-17 in the 2015 World Cup final.

Head coach Steve Hansen has named a side showing six changes from that victory at Twickenham in October.

Wales team to face New Zealand: Liam Williams (Scarlets), George North (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, captain), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Rob Evans (Ospreys), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets).

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