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Wales forced into late change for Six Nations opener versus Ireland

By PA
Seb Davies on the charge versus Tonga (Getty Images)

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Wales were forced to a late change ahead of their Guinness Six Nations curtain-raiser against Ireland in Dublin this afternoon.

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Tournament champions Wales begin their title defence against Ireland in Dublin as the tournament welcomed its first crowd since March 2020.

Coronavirus restrictions meant that last season’s competition took place behind closed doors, but the Aviva Stadium was packed to its 51,700 capacity for an eagerly-awaited Six Nations opener.

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Connacht’s Australia-born wing Mack Hansen makes his Ireland debut, while fly-half Dan Biggar captains Wales for the first time in an injured Alun Wyn Jones’ absence and Josh Adams featured at centre after 35 previous starts as a wing.

But there was a late change among the Wales replacements, with Cardiff lock Seb Davies ruled out due to a back spasm and Dragons forward Ben Carter called up.

Injury has already forced Wayne Pivac to rejig the team.

After winning all of his 35 Wales caps as a wing and scoring 17 tries, Josh Adams has been switched to outside centre. He would have played in that position against Autumn Nations Series opponents Fiji nearly three months ago, but he pulled put injured after the warm-up. George North made an identical move with considerable success last season, and there is no doubt that Adams has all the ability required. It promises to be a testing baptism, though, opposite Ireland’s midfield pairing of Garry Ringrose and Bundee Aki.

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UPDATED WALES SQUAD:
L Williams (Scarlets); J McNicholl (Scarlets), J Adams (Cardiff), N Tompkins (Saracens), L Rees-Zammit (Gloucester); D Biggar (Northampton, capt), T Williams (Cardiff); W Jones (Scarlets), R Elias (Scarlets), T Francis (Ospreys), W Rowlands (Dragons), A Beard (Ospreys), E Jenkins (Cardiff), T Basham (Dragons), A Wainwright (Dragons).

REPLACEMENTS: D Lake (Ospreys), G Thomas (Ospreys), D Lewis (Cardiff), B Carter (Dragons), R Moriarty (Dragons), G Davies (Scarlets), C Sheedy (Bristol), O Watkin (Ospreys).

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