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Gatland turns to Jenkins and Davies as Wales eye Argentina clean sweep

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Gatland turns to Jenkins and Davies as Wales eye Argentina clean sweep

Wales will field a dual-openside combination of Ellis Jenkins and James Davies as they attempt to secure a clean sweep against the Pumas on Saturday.

Having won man-of-the-match awards against South Africa and Argentina, the No 7s have both been given a starting role in the tour finale in Santa Fe.

Warren Gatland has made five changes to his unbeaten team – with lynchpin centre Hadleigh Parkes ruled out with a fractured finger.

James Davies will play alongside Ellis Jenkins as Wales eye a clean sweep against Argentina

James Davies will play alongside Ellis Jenkins as Wales eye a clean sweep against Argentina

James Davies will play alongside Ellis Jenkins as Wales eye a clean sweep against Argentina

Rhys Patchell (pictured) keeps hold of the coveted No 10 jersey ahead of Gareth Anscombe

Rhys Patchell (pictured) keeps hold of the coveted No 10 jersey ahead of Gareth Anscombe

Rhys Patchell (pictured) keeps hold of the coveted No 10 jersey ahead of Gareth Anscombe

Rhys Patchell keeps hold of the No 10 jersey ahead of Gareth Anscombe, while lock Cory Hill continues as skipper.

‘Cory gives us a bit of continuity at captain because Ellis will have enough on his plate playing at blindside,’ said Gatland.

‘It was pretty hard to leave either Ellis or James out, given that they’ve both produced man of the match performances.

‘To be able to play two sevens, you’ve got to have your tight-five performing well and we’re pretty happy with our tight-five, but we’ve made a couple of changes.’

WALES SQUAD IN FULL

Wales XV to face Argentina: Amos; Adams, S Williams, Watkin, North; Patchell, A Davies; R Evans, Elias, Francis, Beard, Hill (capt), Jenkins, J Davies, Moriarty

Replacements: Dee, Smith, Lewis, B Davies, Turnbull, T Williams, Anscombe, Prydie

In the front-row, Exeter prop Tomas Francis is given his first start of the tour ahead of emerging rookie Dillon Lewis.

The forwards otherwise remain unchanged, with Rob Evans, Ryan Elias, Adam Beard and Ross Moriarty rewarded with starts after nullifying a powerful Pumas pack in San Juan.

‘There’s no doubt on Saturday that it’s going to be a lot tougher than last week,’ said Gatland.

‘If you were in that group of Argentina players, you’d probably be reasonably embarrassed about the expectation that they were going to win quite comfortably.

‘They were beaten by a group of young men and boys, who embarrassed them.

‘So, from that point of view, our guys need to be aware of the physical challenge that is coming their way. I think it’s going to be absolutely brutal because they’re going to be desperate.’

In the Welsh back-line, Aled Davies will partner Patchell for his first start of the tour at scrum-half.

Aled Davies will play in Wales' back-line alongside Patchell for his first start of the tour

Aled Davies will play in Wales' back-line alongside Patchell for his first start of the tour

Aled Davies will play in Wales’ back-line alongside Patchell for his first start of the tour

The back-three of Hallam Amos, George North and Josh Adams remains unchanged – while centre Owen Watkin replaces Parkes to partner Scott Williams.

‘It’s another opportunity for Owen to step in there, keep improving and keep developing,’ said Gatland.

‘Hadleigh suffered a compound fracture of the finger about four minutes into the game on Saturday.

‘He’s had that cleaned out and he’ll be seeing a surgeon when he goes back to New Zealand.

‘That’s something that will probably keep him out for about six weeks or something like that.’

Source: MailOnline | Copyright © MailOnline, All Rights Reserved

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