Dragons Prop Lloyd Fairbrother to Make Wales Debut Against Barbarians
In a thrilling uncapped international taking place at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, Dragons prop Lloyd Fairbrother is set to make his first appearance for Wales. This comes as a result of five tight-head props being unavailable due to injuries and club commitments.
The game will also mark full-back Leigh Halfpenny’s final appearance in a Wales jersey, concluding an illustrious career spanning over 15 years. Flanker Jac Morgan has been entrusted with the captaincy for this match.
Wales enters the fixture with four players who were part of the team that suffered a quarter-final loss against Argentina in the World Cup – Jac Morgan, centre George North, lock Adam Beard, as well as number eight Aaron Wainwright.
Notably absent from this encounter are players currently engaged in English, French or Japanese clubs. Liam Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Nick Tompkins, Louis Rees-Zammit are among those missing out due to their club commitments. Additionally sidelined by either retirement or injury include Dan Biggar (fly-half), Taulupe Faletau (flanker), Gareth Thomas (lock) and Ryan Elias (hooker).
Lloyd Fairbrother’s inclusion marks one of three changes made since their last World Cup involvement alongside Scarlets wing Tom Rogers and Dragons lock Ben Carter.
The Missing Tight-Heads:
- Henry Thomas – injured
- Dillon Lewis – injured
- Tomas Francis – unavailable
- Will Rowlands – club commitments
- Christ Tshiunza – club commitments
Originally listed in the squad, Cardiff’s Keiron Assiratti had to withdraw due to an ankle injury. Meanwhile, Leon Brown is also ruled out with a calf problem.
Lloyd Fairbrother, who hails from Cornwall and joined Dragons in 2014, boasts an impressive record of 166 appearances for the region.
On the replacements bench alongside Lloyd Fairbrother is Harri O’Connor. Although uncapped at this level, O’Connor was part of the Wales touring squad to South Africa earlier this year.
The international stage bids farewell to Leigh Halfpenny after his remarkable tenure that saw him accumulate a total of 801 points in 101 Wales games. He will continue his career at New Zealand’s Crusaders following his departure from international rugby.
- Captain: Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
- Vice-Captain: Justin Tipuric (Wales)
Intriguingly enough, coaching duties for the Barbarians team are shared by Eddie Jones and Scott Robertson – both renowned figures within their respective nations’ rugby scenes despite recent changes in their national positions. Wales head coach Warren Gatland views facing such a quality-filled Barbarians side as an excellent challenge for his team. It presents players with opportunities to showcase their skills and make a strong impression before home fans on Saturday. This match also serves as one last chance for spectators to witness Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric representing Wales on an international stage before bidding adieu. Stay tuned as we brace ourselves for an exciting encounter at the Principality Stadium this Saturday!