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Wales opt for experience in final World Cup warm-up

Wales opt for experience in final World Cup warm-up

Six British & Irish Lions will start in the red of Wales on Saturday, as the Six Nations champions play their final Rugby World Cup warm-up against Ireland.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones will captain the side on his 137th Test appearance, while there are also starts for full-back Leigh Halfpenny, wing George North, centre Jonathan Davies and back row pair Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty.

Three more Lions – Dan Biggar, Liam Williams and Ken Owens – are on the bench as head coach Warren Gatland assesses his options.

Wales lost 22-17 to Ireland last week but Gatland has picked a much more experienced side for the return fixture in Dublin.

“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 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.”

Wales team:
15. Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets)
14. George North (Ospreys)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets)
11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues)
10. Rhys Patchell (Scarlets)
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues)

1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets)
2. Elliot Dee (Dragons)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Jake Ball (Scarlets)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (CAPT)
6. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)
8. Ross Moriarty (Dragons)

Replacements:
16. Ken Owens (Scarlets)
17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys)
18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues)
19. Adam Beard (Ospreys)
20. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues)
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
22. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints)
23. Liam Williams (Saracens)

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