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Wales spring changes for ABs


Wales chop and change side in final Test of Warren Gatland's twelve-year tenure

Wales have named their side for their 2019 Rugby World Cup bronze final match against New Zealand in Tokyo on Friday.

Head coach Warren Gatland has made nine changes to his side for what will be his final match in charge, drawing to a close his hugely successful tenure as Wales coach.

Nicky Smith and Dillon Lewis come into the starting side in the front-row to join Ken Owens, whilst Adam Beard returns to the starting line-up to partner captain Alun Wyn Jones.

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Lewis replaces tighthead prop Tomas Francis, who would have been considered for selection, but a shoulder injury sustained in Wales’ semi-final defeat to South Africa has ruled him out of contention.

Meanwhile, James Davies comes into the back-row alongside Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty, with the injured Aaron Wainwright nursing a hamstring injury.

Tomos Williams and Rhys Patchell form a new halfback partnership, while Owen Watkin features alongside Jonathan Davies in midfield.

Josh Adams, who currently leads the try scoring charts at the World Cup, remains in the back three alongside Owen Lane who comes in on the wing and Hallam Amos at fullback.

Fellow outside backs George North and Leigh Halfpenny weren’t considered for selection after picking up respective hamstring injury and concussion complaints from the Springboks encounter.

Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre and Wyn Jones provide the front row replacements on the bench with Jake Ball and Aaron Shingler completing the forward contingent. Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar and Hadleigh Parkes provide the backline cover.


1. Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (34 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets) (72 Caps)
3. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (21 Caps)
4. Adam Beard (Ospreys) (19 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (133 Caps) (CAPT)
6. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (71 Caps)
7. James Davies (Scarlets) (7 Caps)
8. Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (40 Caps)
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) (15 Caps)
10. Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) (18 Caps)
11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) (20 Caps)
12. Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (21 Caps)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (80 Caps)
14. Owen Lane (Cardiff Blues) (1 Cap)
15. Hallam Amos (Cardiff Blues) (21 Caps)
16. Elliot Dee (Dragons) (27 Caps)
17. Rhys Carre (Saracens) (4 Caps)
18. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (21 Caps)
19. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (41 Caps)
20. Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (25 Caps)
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (50 Caps)
22. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (78 Caps)
23. Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (24 Caps)

– With Welsh Rugby Union

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Wales chop and change side in final Test of Warren Gatland's twelve-year tenure
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