Sun shines on Parker

Sonny Parker will line up at inside-centre against New Zealand on Saturday.

Parker, who recently came out of a year-long international retirement, has been preferred in the 12 channel ahead of Gavin Henson, who will take a seat on the wood after recovering from a toe infection.

Parker delivered a Man of the Match performance against the Pacific Islands a fortnight ago and followed that up with another impressive display against Canada last week. The New Zealand-born 29-year-old now has the opportunity to measure himself against the form team in world rugby.

“Sonny very much played himself into the selection debate with two solid performances since coming out of retirement, against Canada and the Pacific Islanders,” Wales coach Gareth Jenkins told BBC Sport.

“He comes into an exciting back line with the kind of pace and power which can hopefully match New Zealand and enable us to take our game-plan to them.”

Gareth Thomas has been ruled out with a knee injury so Kevin Morgan starts at full-back, but fly-half Stephen Jones returns to captain the side.

Duncan Jones and Rhys Thomas come into the pack as only the other changes to the side that started against Canada.

James Hook will feel unlucky to have lost out to Jones and Parker after solid displays against Australia, Pacific Islands and Canada, but will provide cover for both flyhalf and centre.

Wales

15 Kevin Morgan
14 Mark Jones
13 Tom Shanklin
12 Sonny Parker
11 Shane Williams
10 Stephen Jones (captain)
9 Dwayne Peel
8 Ryan Jones
7 Martyn Williams
6 Jonathan Thomas
5 Ian Evans
4 Ian Gough
3 Adam Jones
2 Rhys Thomas
1 Duncan Jones

Replacements

16 Matthew Rees
17 Gethin Jenkins,
18 Alun Wyn Jones
19 Alix Popham
20 Michael Phillips
21 James Hook
22 Gavin Henson