Wales have named a strong side to face Fiji in their penultimate Rugby World Cup Pool D clash, but have made two key changes to the side that beat Australia.
James Davies and Ross Moriarty both start in the back row, in place of Justin Tipuric and Aaron Wainwright. Other than that, it’s the same starting XV that left Wales in a great position to progress top of the pile by beating Australia in Tokyo last Sunday.
Lock Adam Beard looks to be on the verge of a return to contention after having his appendix removed, and is expected to be back in full training in time for the game with Uruguay, but Wednesday’s clash is likely to come too soon.
Dan Biggar is back in the team after returning to training just before the weekend.
This game is likely to throw up memories for Welsh fans of that World Cup clash back in 2007, where Fiji stunned Wales with a 38-34 win in Nantes, dumping them out of the tournament.
Should the Fijians once again upset the odds and earn a victory this time around, it will have little chance of denting Gatland’s hopes of progress, but it could deny them top spot, and potentially a favourable route in the knockout stages. A Welsh win mathematically guarantees their quarter-final place and probably top spot too.
Gatland is set to face the media shortly after today’s announcement.
Wales: Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis; Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (C); Josh Navidi, James Davies, Ross Moriarty
Reps: Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Aaron Shingler, Aaron Wainwright, Tomos Williams, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin.