Tommy Reffell to make Wales bow against South Africa

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Tommy Reffell will make his Wales debut against South Africa (PA)
Tommy Reffell will make his Wales debut against South Africa (PA)

Leicester flanker Tommy Reffell will make his Wales debut in Saturday’s Test series opener against world champions South Africa.

Bridgend-born Reffell, who helped Tigers win this season’s Gallagher Premiership title at Twickenham, will line up in Pretoria alongside back-row colleagues Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau.

Lydiate and centre George North return to international rugby after more than a year away from the Test match arena because of serious knee injuries.

And Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has opted for Will Rowlands and Adam Beard as the second-row partnership, meaning 150 times-capped Alun Wyn Jones is on the bench.

Jones is joined among the replacements by fellow British and Irish Lions player Josh Navidi, with Tomos Williams providing scrum-half cover for Kieran Hardy.

Hardy is elevated to the starting XV as captain Dan Biggar’s half-back partner, with North joined in midfield by Saracens’ Nick Tompkins.

But there is no place in Wales’ matchday 23 for wing Alex Cuthbert, who impressed during this season’s Guinness Six Nations Championship.

Lions Louis Rees-Zammit and Josh Adams are the starting wings, while props Gareth Thomas and Dillon Lewis also feature.

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