Gareth Anscombe should be handed the Wales fly-half jersey ahead of Rhys Priestland for the autumn opener against New Zealand on Saturday.
And Jonathan Davies should feature at inside centre, with Tomos Williams and Will Rowlands taking the places of two British and Irish Lions.
So believes Shane Williams, Wales’ record try scorer and a player who startled the All Blacks with his display against them at the 2003 World Cup.
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With Wayne Pivac missing so many players because of injuries and unavailabilities, ex-wing Williams isn’t optimistic about Wales’ chances against a team who warmed up for their European tour by beating the USA 104-14.
According to Williams, the All Blacks could put 40 or 50 points on Wayne Pivac’s side “if it goes really badly”.
Anscombe has played just three times since returning from a 25-month spell out of the game with injury, but Williams feels the 30-year-old has to play against the All Blacks.
Discussing the No. 10 position, he writes in his column in The Rugby Paper : “I’ve consistently said Gareth needs to be given time and not rushed, but the brutal truth is I don’t think there is anyone else.
“I’d expect Rhys Priestland to be on the bench and come on in the second half.”
He picks Davies ahead of fellow Scarlet Johnny Williams, saying the 33-year-old should be in the run-on side because of his experience while adding he has looked more like his old self this term.
The two available Lions left out of Williams’ XV are Gareth Davies and Adam Beard, with Tomos Williams named at scrum-half and Rowlands picked alongside Alun Wyn Jones in the second row.
Beard won a Lions Test cap in the summer, but Rowlands has made a strong start to the season, making 47 tackles without a miss over four games and putting in 32 carries, and Dragons coach Dean Ryan has described him as a ‘catalyst’ for improvement at the region.
Williams writes: “I’ve liked what Rowlands has brought to the Dragons this season.
“He’s a big, physical lump who will know Adam Beard is ready in reserve.”
The call at No. 7 falls the way of Ellis Jenkins, with Taine Basham coming in if the Cardiff player fails to recover from the rib injury he picked up playing in the recent United Rugby Championship encounter against the Cell C Sharks.
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Williams says strong individual performances in an impressive collective display might be enough to stop Wales getting hammered.
But there is also a sobering note.
“The number of players unavailable for this game doesn’t bode well at all and if it goes really badly, New Zealand could put 40 or 50 points on Wales,” he writes.
Shane Williams’ Wales team to face New Zealand: Johnny McNicholl; Owen Lane, Willis Halaholo, Jonathan Davies, Josh Adams; Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Alun Wyn Jones, Ross Moriarty, Ellis Jenkins, Aaron Wainwright.