KIERAN Hardy will return to the Wales line-up against South Africa today to stake his claim for a World Cup start.

The Carmarthen-born scrum half was named among the replacements for last week’s game with England, but was forced to pull out due to a health scare to his young daughter.

Ellie Hardy, Kieran’s wife, posted an update on Instagram, saying that young Noa was “out of the woods and on the mend”.

“Noa girl you are a little trooper!,” she said.

“You’ve gave us the scariest day of our entire lives yesterday but you’ve made us so proud with how well you’ve responded in such a short space of time for a baby so little.

“Mamas always, always, always trust your instincts; it’s never wrong. Trust Me.

“I can’t thank the NHS staff here in A&E and on the paediatric ward enough, all have been absolutely incredible and acted so quickly when she took a turn yesterday morning.

“It’s been a scary & worrying time with the unknown, many protocol procedures performed on Noa in such a short space of time, but our girl is out of the woods and on the mend with a dramatic improvement in 24 hours and hopefully we get the answers we’re all hoping for tomorrow.

“With a bit of luck now Noa girl we can stay free of catching bugs and hospital admissions for a little while…cause the last few months have been an unlucky ride that’s for sure.”

She has since confirmed that Noa has now left hospital.

Hardy will make his first start of the summer after being named in a much-changed starting line-up for the final World Cup warm-up game this afternoon (3.15pm).

Since Warren Gatland named his side, Hardy’s Scarlets teammate Tom Rogers has been drafted in for Alex Cuthbert, while Cai Evans replaced Liam Williams at full back and Sam Costelow has come in for Dan Biggar at outside half.

The back line now boasts 39 caps, with 17 of them belonging to Hardy.

Louis Rees-Zammit has been brought on to the bench to take over from Rogers.

Gatland has said that all three changes are precautionary.

“The changes won’t affect the balance of the side at all. We’ve got some people coming in who are extremely excited to get another chance,” said Wales forwards coach Jon Humphreys.

“We see it as an extremely exciting opportunity for us. We’ve worked very hard over the last 13-14 weeks and now it is the last chance for everyone to put their hand up and say ‘I want to be in the World Cup’.

“The Springboks are a hell of a test, especially up front, and they are a great team to play against because you know exactly what’s coming. We’ve played them a fair few times over the last four years, and we’ve always enjoyed the physical confrontation that we know is going to come.

“It’s a great test for a pretty inexperienced team and we are thoroughly looking forward to it. It was really frustrating last week at Twickenham.”