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Welsh young guns backed against Tonga

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/06/2017

Scott Williams has backed Wales' young guns to make a big impression in their summer Tests with Pacific Island duo Tonga and Samoa.

With 12 of their best players - as well as coaches Warren Gatland, Rob Howley and Neil Jenkins - on British and Irish Lions duty, Wales boast a young squad led by interim head coach Robin McBryde.

Keelan Giles, Steffan Evans and Adam Beard are three of 13 uncapped players in McBryde's touring party and centre Williams is looking forward to seeing them in action.

"I feel quite old at the moment, but it's a good bunch of boys we have here," he said.

"It's nice to see them get an opportunity and this tour is a chance for them to stake their claim.

"We have some talented backs. There are a few of us from the Scarlets there, and then we've got other guys from the regions who have got X-Factor too. They can create something out of nothing."

Wales arrived in Auckland on Saturday ahead of their tour opener against Tonga at Eden Park on Friday.

The game forms part of a double-header of fixtures alongside New Zealand's tie with Samoa.

Williams, who helped the Scarlets to the PRO12 domestic title, hopes he can continue his fine end of season form at international level.

"It's a physical start against Tonga and the double-header is going to be a great occasion," he said.

"I'm sure they'll have a lot of support in that game which we'll have to deal with.

"It will be tough and Tonga are not that bothered about structure, that makes them very dangerous. We've got to make sure we keep hold of the ball and don't turn it over easily."

Williams is likely to partner Wales tour captain Jamie Roberts in midfield against Tonga. The duo will provide McBryde with vital midfield experience.

"We can't play loose against Tonga and Samoa. They have dangerous players from turnover and most tries are scored from those situations these days," Williams said.

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