Shane Williams picks Wales team to play South Africa as Alun Wyn out and Lydiate in

Wales and Lions legend Shane Williams has picked his starting XV for the first Test against the Springboks this week and believes Alun Wyn Jones will be used as a bench option.

“Alun Wyn Jones should be far more integrated into the team patterns than he was when he returned against Italy, but I can see him being used off the bench,” he said in his The Rugby Paper column. “Recently crowned Welsh Player of the Year Will Rowlands needs to start alongside Adam Beard in the second row.”

Speaking about the game generally, Williams added: “More than anything, I want to see a step-up from Wales from the way they finished the Six Nations. Pivac has openly admitted he got his selection hopelessly wrong against Italy in the final game and that defeat still haunts him and Welsh rugby fans. Now is the chance to erase that memory.

“He has selected 10 players who were in South Africa last summer with the British and Irish Lions, seven of whom played in the Test series. He has got George North back, a fully-fit Alun Wyn Jones and a re-built Dan Lydiate. There is no lack of experience and no lack of talent.

“What every Welsh rugby fan wants to see is a huge desire from their team to scrap for every ball, every inch of ground and for every point. We’ve beaten the Boks in five of the last nine meetings and there has been no more than one score difference in the four games won by the Boks. In fact, the last time we played in South Africa it was 31-30 to the home side in Nelspruit in 2014.”

Shane’s XV : L Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, Watkin, Adams; Biggar, T Williams; W Jones, Elias, Francis; Rowlands, Beard; Lydiate, Navidi, Faletau.

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