Rhys Patchell starts for Wales against Ireland

Rhys Patchell returns to Wales line-up
Rhys Patchell returns to Wales line-up

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has made several changes to the starting line-up for the clash against Ireland to be played this weekend at Aviva Stadium.

Alun Wyn Jones returns to captain the side and will partner with Jake Ball in second row with the backrow comprising of flankers Aaron Wainwright and Justin Tipuric and number eight Ross Moriarty.

Rhys Patchell starts at fly-half taking over from Jarrod Evans and Aled Davies at scrum-half is replaced by Tomos Williams. George North and Josh Adams are named at wings with Jonathan Davies and Hadleigh Parkes forming the centre partnership.

Leigh Halfpenny is slotted at fullback and Elliot Dee has been the preferred hooker with Tomas Francis and Wyn Jones at props.

“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 starting line-up: 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 (c), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Wyn Jones

Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Liam Williams

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