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Wales named to face 'best All Blacks side ever'

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Sportal.co.nz     21 Nov 2012     Getty Images

Captain Sam Warburton is the most notable inclusion as Wales look to bounce back from home losses to Samoa and Argentina at the Millennium Stadium.

Gatland, back in charge for a fortnight following a stint at the helm of the British and Irish Lions, has also recalled Luke Charteris, Matthew Rees, Rhys Priestland and Jonathan Davies.

"This New Zealand team is one of the best rugby sides to have ever played the game and probably the best All Blacks team ever, so it will be a privilege to be able to test ourselves against them," Gatland said.

"No one is more disappointed than the players and the coaches with how things have gone in the last two weeks.

"But those supporters who have been with us over the last 18 months know, just as we do, that we are a better side than we have displayed so far and we will be looking to show that on Saturday."

Warburton replaces Justin Tipuric up front, while lock Charteris comes in for Ian Evans, who has been sidelined with a knee injury.

Hooker Rees takes over from the injured Richard Hibbard (shoulder), while Dan Biggar (shoulder) makes way for Priestland at fly-half.

Davies returns from a groin injury in place of Ashley Beck at centre.

Tipuric has been named among the eight reserves, while Beck was dropped.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Rhys Priestland, Mike Phillips; Paul James, Matthew Rees, Aaron Jarvis, Bradley Davies, Luke Charteris, Ryan Jones, Sam Warburton (captain), Toby Faletau.

Replacements: Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins, Scott Andrews, Aaron Shingler, Justin Tipuric, Tavis Knoyle, James Hook, Scott Williams.