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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

All Change For Wales As Jones Leads Returning Players

All Change For Wales As Jones Leads Returning Players

Alun Wyn Jones is pictured in possession during Wales' Guinness Six Nations win over Ireland in Cardiff back in March ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

The Wales team has been announced for their final Rugby World Cup warm-up match on Saturday, with captain Alun Wyn Jones returning to the starting XV for the Aviva Stadium clash with Ireland (kick-off 2pm).

Jones, who led Wales to a Grand Slam in the spring, will pack down with Jake Ball in the second row. Dragons youngster Aaron Wainwright, who only made his Test debut in June of last year, features in the loose forwards with Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty.

Exeter Chiefs’ Tomas Francis, the starting tighthead in the 13-6 win over England last month, is joined in the front row by Wyn Jones and Elliot Dee, as Wales come hunting for some winning momentum to take with them to Japan.

The Welsh back-line is the same that started against England, apart from half-backs Rhys Patchell, who is rewarded for last week’s cameo performance during the 22-17 loss to Ireland, and Tomos Williams. Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Josh Adams and centres Jonathan Davies and Hadleigh Parks will also start.

Ahead of Wales’ departure for the World Cup next Wednesday, head coach Warren Gatland said: “This is our final preparation match so it is important we get enough rugby into us, get rugby ready ahead of our World Cup opener against Georgia which is just over two weeks away.

“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 World Cup squad, it has been a big week and it’s a big opportunity for players to put their hand up and secure spots for the starting XV in Japan.”

WALES Team & Replacements (v Ireland, 2019 GUINNESS Summer Series, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, September 7, kick-off 2pm):

Player/Club/Caps –

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) 81
14. George North (Ospreys) 85
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) 75
12. Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) 17
11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) 13
10. Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) 12
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) 8
1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) 14
2. Elliot Dee (Dragons) 21
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) 42
4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) 35
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (capt) 127
6. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) 11
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) 65
8. Ross Moriarty (Dragons) 33

Replacements:

16. Ken Owens (Scarlets) 66
17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys) 30
18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) 14
19. Adam Beard (Ospreys) 15
20. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) 18
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) 43
22. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) 72
23. Liam Williams (Saracens) 57