MATTHEW Screech will earn his second Wales cap – and first as a Dragon – when taking on South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 31-year-old lock will join forces with club teammate Ben Carter for the clash with the world champions in London.

It is a daunting prospect for the Dragons pair – they will be up against the heavyweight duo of legend Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert, who boast a combined total of 192 international appearances.

Dragons stalwart Screech won his first cap as a replacement against Argentina in 2021 but was listed as a Cardiff player after leaving Rodney Parade that summer.

Now the hard-grafting forward gets another opportunity against the Springboks, chiefly because of Wales’ long list of absentees in the second row.

STARTER: Dragons lock Ben CarterSTARTER: Dragons lock Ben Carter

Carter also makes a return after missing the cut for the World Cup and then sitting out the Six Nations because of a hamstring injury, with the 23-year-old from Caldicot winning his 12th cap.

The pair are joined in the XV by the established pair of number eight Aaron Wainwright and Rio Dyer.

Cardiff scrum-half Ellis Bevan makes his international debut in a side that is captained by hooker Dewi Lake.

Three more players could win their first caps off the bench - uncapped Ospreys forward James Ratti, a late call-up to the squad, Scarlets centre Eddie James and Cardiff back Jacob Beetham.

Head coach Warren Gatland said: “We have our backs to the wall a little bit this week, but we’re really excited about the challenge on Saturday.

“Facing the world champions at Twickenham Stadium will be a great occasion and we’re relishing the opportunity to get out there and put in a performance.

“We have a big week ahead of us with this young squad, but the coaches and I have been very happy with the effort that’s going in.

“There’s a huge amount of potential in this group and the next five weeks will be extremely important for us in terms of wanting to develop this team.”


Wales: Cameron Winnett; Liam Williams, Owen Watkin, Mason Grady, Rio Dyer; Sam Costelow, Ellis Bevan; Gareth Thomas, Dewi Lake, Henry Thomas, Matthew Screech, Ben Carter, Taine Plumtree, James Botham, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Evan Lloyd, Kemsley Mathias, Keiron Keiron Assiratti, James Ratti, Mackenzie Martin, Gareth Davies, Eddie James, Jacob Beetham.