YOUNG specialist Tyler Morgan has been selected ahead of veteran utility James Hook at outside centre in a Wales line-up otherwise at full available strength for their World Cup quarter-final against South Africa.
Wales coach Warren Gatland said it wasn’t that hard a call. Unlike Hook, Morgan was “an out and out 13, and an exciting player for the future,” Gatland said.
British Lions forwards Gethin Jenkins and Dan Lydiate were also recalled in the only other changes from the team which lost to Australia 15-6 at Twickenham last weekend in the Pool A decider.
Morgan, 20, was the sole change in the backline, forced by the tournament-ending foot injury to Liam Williams.
George North has reverted to his regular wing spot, and Morgan was handed his third cap for the quarter-final at Twickenham tomorrow.
Gatland said Morgan “played exceptionally well” against Fiji, only to hurt his hamstring, forcing North to be switched to outside centre against Australia. That move wasn’t a success, and Wales signalled he would go back to the left wing.
That left the No 13 jersey to be filled by either Morgan or Hook, with many pundits believing Hook’s experience would earn him a call-up.
Wales: Gareth Anscombe, Alex Cuthbert, Tyler Morgan, Jamie Roberts, George North, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Taulupe Faletau, Sam Warburton (captain), Dan Lydiate, Alun Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris, Samson Lee, Scott Baldwin, Gethin Jenkins. Replacements: Ken Owens, Paul James, Tomas Francis, Bradley Davies, Justin Tipuric, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Priestland, James Hook.