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Gatland names Wales side to play Australia this weekend

Wales will travel to Lyon this evening (Friday) from their team base in Versailles.

Wales v Fiji – Rugby World Cup 2023 – Pool C – Jac Morgan and Dan Biggar of Wales at full time. Credit: WRU

Senior men’s head coach Warren Gatland has named his Wales XV to play Australia at OL Stadium, Lyon in their third pool C match of Rugby World Cup 2023 (Sunday 24 September KO 8pm BST / 9pm local time live on ITV and S4C).

Adam Beard is named in the second row to win his 50th cap for Wales. Will Rowlands starts alongside him.

Jac Morgan captains the side and starts his third match of the tournament after coming in as a late injury replacement for Tommy Reffell against Portugal last weekend. Taulupe Faletau at No. 8 and Louis Rees-Zammit on the wing are the other two players to start in all of Wales’ pool matches so far.

Aaron Wainwright returns at blindside flanker to complete the back row.

Josh Adams at wing and Liam Williams at full-back join Rees-Zammit in the Wales back three.

Nick Tompkins and George North continue their centre partnership. Gareth Davies is named at scrum-half with Dan Biggar returning at fly-half.

In the front row, Ryan Elias is named at hooker for his tenth RWC appearance across two tournaments. Gareth Thomas starts at loosehead prop and Tomas Francis is at tighthead prop.

Wales’ replacements include Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe and Rio Dyer as the back line cover.

Elliot Dee, Corey Domachowski and Henry Thomas, who is in line to make his RWC debut from the Wales bench, are the front row cover. Dafydd Jenkins is the second row cover and Taine Basham is the final forward replacement for the second match running.

Gatland said: “We’re happy with our position going into this game. We have two wins and ten points. There’s a confidence among this group and we’ve had a good edge to training this week.

“Everyone wants to be involved and there were some disappointed players this week, which is exactly what we want with competition strong across the squad.

“Every game in the World Cup is tough, the stakes are high, and this will be no different. Australia have talented players and we know they will want to come out and put in a performance this weekend.

“Our accuracy was good against Fiji, but it was not at the level we would like against Portugal. We are looking to get better every week. Against Australia we know we have to take our chances and put them under as much pressure as possible.

“If we play the way we know we can and maintain that for 80 minutes, then we know we will be a very hard team to beat.”

Wales senior men’s XV to play Australia at OL Stadium. Pool C, Rugby World Cup 2023. Sunday 24 September, KO 8pm BST. Live on ITV and S4C.

15. Liam Williams (Kubota Spears – 86 caps)

14. Louis Rees Zammit (Gloucester Rugby / Caerloyw – 29 caps)

13. George North (Ospreys / Gweilch – 115 caps)

12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens / Saraseniaid – 29 caps)

11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – 52 caps)

10. Dan Biggar (RC Toulonnais – 110 caps)

9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets – 71 caps)

1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys / Gweilch – 23 caps)

2. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 36 caps)

3. Tomas Francis (Provence Rugby – 74 caps)

4. Will Rowlands (Racing 92 – 26 caps)

5. Adam Beard (Ospreys / Gweilch – 49 caps)

6. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons / Dreigiau – 40 caps)

7. Jac Morgan (Ospreys / Gweilch – 13 caps) captain / capten*

8. Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – 102 caps)

Replacements / Eilyddion

16. Elliot Dee (Dragons / Dreigiau – 44 caps)

17. Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – 4 caps)

18. Henry Thomas (Montpellier – 2 caps)*

19. Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs / Caerwysg – 9 caps)

20. Taine Basham (Dragons / Dreigiau – 14 caps)

21. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby/ Caerdydd – 50 caps)

22. Gareth Anscombe (Suntory Sungoliath – 36 caps)

23. Rio Dyer (Dragons / Dreigiau – 11 caps)