Michael Owen is set to become Wales' 1,000th international when he wins
his first cap against South Africa on Saturday in Bloemfontein (Kick-
off 2.00pm BST).
The 21-year-old Pontypridd powerhouse has been handed his debut after a
highly impressive season at Sardis Road. He will feature in the back row
alongside Cardiff's Martyn Williams and skipper Colin Charvis.
Andy Marinos has ended speculation over his fitness after taking his place in
a centre partnership with Wales' British Lion Mark Taylor. Meanwhile, Dwayne Peel has been named at scrum half following the international retirement of Rob Howley.
The uncapped Pontypridd trio of Mefin Davies, Robert Sidoli and Richard Parks
are on the replacements bench alongside world record-points scorer Neil
Wales coach Steve Hansen said: "It's not just about results, it's about the performance.
"Michael Owen has been in good form and he's the type of player who doesn't make mistakes.
"He will give us a good line out option and to become the 1,000th cap is a very special honour."
Wales Team v South Africa
Kevin Morgan (Swansea); Rhys Williams (Cardiff), Mark Taylor(Swansea), Andy
Marinos (Newport), Craig Morgan (Cardiff); Stephen Jones (Llanelli), Dwayne Peel (Llanelli); Iestyn Thomas (Llanelli), Robin McBryde (Llanelli), Ben Evans (Swansea), Gareth Llewellyn (Neath), Steve Williams (Northampton),
Michael Owen (Pontypridd), Martyn Williams (Cardiff), Colin Charvis
Replacements: Mefin Davies Pontypridd), Martyn Madden (Llanelli), Robert Sidoli (Pontypridd), Richard Parks Pontypridd), Ryan Powell (Cardiff), Neil Jenkins (Cardiff), Tom Shanklin (Saracens)
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.