Wales bring in big names for Dublin showdown
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales have named a team showing 15 changes for Saturday’s final World Cup preparation game against Ireland in Dublin with captain Alun Wyn Jones returning to the starting line-up.
Jones will pack down with Jake Ball in the second row with Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty comprising the back row.
Wyn Jones, Elliot Dee and Tomas Francis are the starting front row for Saturday’s game at the Aviva Stadium.
Tomos Williams and Rhys Patchell are named at halfback with Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies partnering at centre.
Josh Adams, George North and Leigh Halfpenny form the back-three for Wales.
On return from Dublin, Wales will depart for Japan on Wednesday September 11.
“This is our final preparation match so it is important we get enough rugby into us, get rugby ready ahead of our RWC opener against Georgia which is just over two weeks away,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.
“It is important we hit the ground running in Japan and we give the players enough time on the field.
“Saturday is the first time these players would have taken to the field as members of the RWC squad, it has been a big week and it is a big opportunity for players to put their hand up and secure spots for the starting XV in Japan.”
Ken Owen, Nicky Smith and Dillon Lewis are named as the front-row cover with Adam Beard and Josh Navidi completing the forward contingent. Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar and Liam Williams provide the backline cover.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) September 5, 2019
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owen, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Liam Williams.
Date: Saturday, September 7
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 14.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Luke Pearce (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)