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Injury forces Wales reshuffle

TEAM UPDATE: Leigh Halfpenny has been ruled out of Wales’ Six Nations opener against Ireland on Saturday due to a back spasm.

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The fullback was due to win his 98th cap in his first start for 19 months in the opening game of Warren Gatland’s second spell in charge.

Halfpenny had overcome a serious knee injury to get himself back into contention for selection.

His replacement for the clash against the top-ranked side in the world at the Millennium Stadium will be Cardiff’s Liam Williams.

“Unfortunately, Leigh had a back spasm this morning and Liam will be playing,” said Wales assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys.

“I think it’s more disappointing for him as a person. He is an unbelievable professional and an unbelievable person.

“He has got to pick himself up again. You feel for him that he’s got to pull out at this late stage.”

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Wales – revised: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Josh Adams, 13 George North, 12 Joe Hawkins, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos William, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Jac Morgan, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gareth Thomas
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Dafydd Jenkins, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Alex Cuthbert.

Date: Saturday, February 4
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 14.15 (14.15 GMT)
Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia) & Luke Pearce (England )
TMO: Tom Foley (England)

 

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