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Faletau starts for Wales for crunch Fiji clash

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by Adrian Dennis /AFP via Getty Images)

Wales No.8 Taulupe Faletau will start on Sunday against Fiji despite not playing in their World Cup warm-ups.


The Cardiff forward will earn his 101st cap in Bordeaux, having become a centurion during the Six Nations.

He will partner Aaron Wainwright and captain Jac Morgan in the back row.

Head coach Warren Gatland said: “The squad has worked incredibly hard over the last few months and has been preparing well for Fiji in the last couple of weeks.

“Fiji are a good side with some great individual athletes and they play with a lot more structure now than maybe they have done traditionally.

“We’ve had some good clarity about what we want to achieve and the way we want to play on the weekend. It’s going to be an exciting contest on Sunday and one that we are relishing.

“The boys are looking sharp, there’s a great environment in this group – players working for each other, enjoying each other’s company. We’re in a good place and can’t wait to get out there and get our Rugby World Cup 2023 campaign underway.”


Wales XV
15 Liam Williams (Kubota Spears – 85 caps)
14 Louis Rees Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 27 caps)*
13 George North (Ospreys – 114 caps)
12 Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 28 caps)*
11 Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 50 caps)
10 Dan Biggar (RC Toulonnais – 109 caps)
9 Gareth Davies (Scarlets – 69 caps);
1 Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 22 caps)*
2 Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 34 caps)
3 Tomas Francis (Provence Rugby – 72 caps)
4 Will Rowlands (Racing 92 – 25 caps)*
5 Adam Beard (Ospreys – 47 caps)
6 Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 39 caps)
7 Jac Morgan (Ospreys – 11 caps) captain*
8 Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby – 100 caps)

16 Elliot Dee (Dragons – 43 caps)
17 Corey Domachowski ( Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)*
18 Dillon Lewis (Harlequins – 51 caps)
19 Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 7 caps)*
20 Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 10 caps)*
21 Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 48 caps)
22 Sam Costelow (Scarlets – 4 caps)*
23 Rio Dyer (Dragons – 9 caps)*

*player appearing in first Rugby World Cup


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