HALFPENNY NAMED IN SQUAD

Cardiff Blues have named Leigh Halfpenny on the bench for their next game. The Wales wing has been out with an ankle injury since October, but back-row Xavier Rush (neck) is out despite completing a one-week suspension.

Centre Jamie Roberts makes his first start since surgery on a long-term wrist injury, replacing Tom Shanklin.

The Ospreys promote Andrew Bishop, Jamie Nutbrown, Paul James and Ian Gough to the starting line-up.

All four started on the bench in Monday’s 60-17 win over the Scarlets but get their turn to start at the Blues, with Nikki Walker, Mike Phillips and Ryan Jones dropping to the replacements.

WALES SEVENS LOSE TO SOUTH AFRICA

An impressiveWales Sevens team lost to South Africa in the plate semifinals. On Friday, Wales beat Scotland, France and Australia to top Pool A.

But a late Simaika Mikaele try saw the powerful Samoans beat Wales 19-14 in Saturday’s Cup quarter-final.

Tom Isaacs and Ifan Evans had touched down but two tries from Samoa’s Alafoti Fa’osiliva before Mikaele’s winner, as Wales’ Evans was sin-binned, won it.

REES WANTS MISTAKES TO BE AVOIDED

Welsh captain Matthew Rees has asked the team to avoid any silly mistakes in the future. Wales were beaten by Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, while they were also held to a dismal draw by Fiji.

But Rees insists they have been competitive in all of the games. “We know at this level the difference is error and until we cut them out in our game, that’s going to be difficult to get results,” Rees said.

“We have played the three top teams in the world and from our point of view we have been able to match them up front physically and we have kept them in the game for long periods of time.”

Wales began their November Tests with a 25-16 defeat to Australia, which was followed up by a 29-25 loss at the hands of world champions South Africa.

Last weekend, they were held to a 16-16 draw by Fiji which drew much criticism and saw Ryan Jones replaced by Scarlets hooker Rees as captain after the match.