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Sidoli Faces Blacks

Sidoli Faces Blacks

Robert Sidoli will pack down for Wales against New Zealand in the BT Autumn International Series finale at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 2.30 pm).

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The young Pontypridd second row forward will start against the All Blacks in the only change coach Steve Hansen has made from the starting line-up who beat Canada 32-21 last Saturday.

Sidoli, 23, will win his sixth cap, packing down in the second row with 70-times capped Neath captain Gareth Llewellyn.

Sidoli takes over from Vernon Cooper as Wales bid to end their 49-year wait for a victory over the 1987 world champions, New Zealand winning the last 13 official Tests since Wales triumphed 13-8 in 1953.

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Hansen has said “same again” to the back division on duty against Canada,

New Zealand-born Sonny Parker making his fourth successive appearance for his adopted country since qualifying for Wales under the three-year residency ruling.

But while players like Parker, Sidoli and flanker Dafydd Jones – the Llanelli player keeping his place in the back row to win his third cap – are just

launching their international careers, Llewellyn will be making his fourth appearance against the All Blacks in a career that stretches over three decades- his debut coming against New Zealand 69 caps ago back in 1989.

WALES:15 Rhys Williams (Cardiff) 14 Mark Jones (Llanelli) 13 Jamie Robinson (Cardiff) 12 Sonny Parker (Pontypridd) 11 Gareth Thomas (Bridgend) 10 Stephen Jones (Llanelli) 9 Dwayne Peel (Llanelli)

1 Iestyn Thomas (Llanelli) 2 Robin McBryde (Llanelli) 3 Ben Evans (Swansea) 4 Robert Sidoli (Pontypridd) 5 Gareth Llewellyn (Neath) 6 Dafydd Jones (Llanelli) 7 Martyn Williams (Cardiff) 8 Colin Charvis (Swansea, captain)

REPLACEMENTS:16 Mefin Davies (Pontypridd) 17 Gethin Jenkins (Pontypridd) 18 Michael Owen (Pontypridd) 19 Richard Parks (Pontypridd) 20 Ryan Powell (Cardiff) 21 Iestyn Harris (Cardiff) 22 Dafydd James (Bridgend)

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