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Biggar returns as Gatland reveals strong Wales side

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named his side to play Argentina at Stade de Marseille in the first quarterfinal of World Cup 2023.

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Following the 43-19 win against Georgia last weekend, Wales have been preparing for the quarterfinal from their new team base in Toulon.

Jac Morgan makes his fourth start of the tournament and captains the side at blindside flank.

He joined in the Wales back row by openside flank Tommy Reffell and No.8 Aaron Wainwright.

Ryan Elias is named at hooker. Elias features alongside props Gareth Thomas (loose-head) and Tomas Francis (tight-head), who is making his 15th overall World Cup appearance.

Adam Beard partners Will Rowlands in the second row for the third time this tournament with both players making their fourth appearance at RWC23.

Dan Biggar returns at flyhalf and Gareth Davies is at scrumhalf.

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Nick Tompkins and George North continue their centre partnership for the fourth time this competition. North is making his 20th World Cup appearance in his fourth tournament.

Liam Williams is named at full-back with Josh Adams and Louis Rees-Zammit on the wings.

Among Wales’ replacements Dewi Lake, Corey Domachowski and Dillon Lewis are the front row cover while Exeter Chiefs duo Dafydd Jenkins and Christ Tshiunza cover the second and back rows respectively, with Jenkins in line to make his fifth RWC23 appearance and Tshiunza his third.

The back line cover is provided by Tomos Williams, Sam Costelow and Rio Dyer.

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Gatland said: “We had a goal of making the quarterfinals which we have achieved. Now it’s about building on that momentum.

“It’s exciting to enter into the knock-out stages of the tournament and we are ready for the challenge of a quarterfinal.

“All our preparation has been geared to getting to this spot and we’re very much relishing the opportunity.

“We’re expecting another tough encounter this weekend against a physical Argentina side. We haven’t had the perfect performance yet, but we have shown that we are a hard team to beat.

“There is a lot more growth in this squad – collectively and individually – and we can’t wait to get out there in Marseille on Saturday.”

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Louis Rees Zammit, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Jac Morgan, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Gareth Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Dewi Lake, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Dafydd Jenkins, 20 Christ Tshiunza, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Sam Costelow, 23 Rio Dyer

Date: Saturday, October 14
Venue: Stade de Marseille, Marseille
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT; 16.00 UK & Ireland time; 12.00 ART)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Karl Dickson (England), Andrea Piardi (Italy)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

 

 

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