Alun Wyn Jones will equal Richie McCaw’s record of 148 international caps when he leads out Wales to face Scotland at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.
It will be the 34-year old Jones’s 139th appearance for his country with the other nine appearances for the Lions over three tours. Wales start their summer campaign in Japan, but Jones is likely to break the former New Zealand captain McCaw’s record against the All Blacks at Eden Park in July.
Wales need to beat Scotland to avoid finishing fifth in the table a year after they won the grand slam. It has been an anti-climactic start for head coach Wayne Pivac with successive defeats against Ireland, France and England.
The need for a result overrode any temptation to inject young blood into the side and two of the three changes from Twickenham last week are enforced with the prop Dillon Lewis and the second row Jake Ball injured. They are replaced by the uncapped Sale front rower WillGriff John and the fit-again Cory Hill.
The other change is at scrum-half where Rhys Webb replaces Tomos Williams but there is no place in the 23 for the Gloucester wing Louis Rees-Zammit whose inclusion in Wales’s Six Nations squad in January generated considerable interest.
“We want to finish the campaign with the performance we know we can deliver,” said Pivac. ““Alun Wyn is one of the most iconic figures in the game. He is our leader and I’m delighted for him as he continues to set the bar across the game.”