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Good, bad news for Gatland as he announces team to face Fiji

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales head coach Warren Gatland named an experienced side to face Fiji in Bordeaux on Sunday, with George North set to appear at his fourth World Cup.

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The good news for the Welsh is that No.8 Taulupe Faletau has been passed fit to face Fiji.

Flank Jac Morgan will lead the side though fellow co-captain Dewi Lake has been left out on fitness grounds.

A total of 13 players in the matchday 23 have previously played at a World Cup.

Only five players in the starting XV will be making their World Cup debuts: Louis Rees Zammitt, Nick Tompkins, Gareth Thomas, Will Rowlands, and captain Jac Morgan.

Five others could get their first taste of a Rugby World Cup action from the bench.

Two Welsh players named in this match-day 23 play their club rugby in France with Dan Biggar at Toulon and Will Rowlands at Racing 92, while Tomas Francis is set to join Provence after the tournament.

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George North will join Alun Wyn Jones, Stephen Jones and Gethin Jenkins as the only Welsh players to have played at four World Cup tournaments. He has played against Fiji in all of them.

Josh Adams scored a hattrick against Fiji in 2019, one of only seven Welsh players in World Cup history to score three or more tries in a match.

Gatland becomes the first head coach in World Cup history to coach at five tournaments. His first tournament came in 1999 with Ireland, before taking Wales to the 2011, 2015 and 2019 editions.

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

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Date: Sunday, September 11
Venue: Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
Kick-off: 21.00 (19.00 GMT, 20.00 UK & Ireland time; 07.00 Monday, September 11, FJT)
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

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