Wainwright gets the nod in back row for Wales

Paul Eddison
21 September 2019

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Dragons flanker Aaron Wainwright has been given the opportunity to show what he can do for Wales in what is close to a first-choice side named by Warren Gatland for their World Cup opener against Georgia on Monday.

Barring injuries, it is close to the same side that helped Wales to a Grand Slam earlier in the year, but Wainwright could now be set to step up from his bench role into a starting spot.

He replaces Dragons teammate Ross Moriarty in the starting XV, with Josh Navidi shifting to No.8 and Justin Tipuric staying at openside flanker.

Ospreys’ Alun Wyn Jones captains the team in his fourth World Cup, starting alongside Scarlets’ Jake Ball whose regional colleague Aaron Shingler will cover lock on the bench due to second row injury concerns.

The backline is as expected, Dan Biggar and Gareth Davies named in the half-backs and Scarlets pair Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies in the centres.

Cardiff Blues new boy Josh Adams starts on one wing, opposite Ospreys’ George North, with Liam Williams at full-back.

That means that Leigh Halfpenny is on the bench, with Tomos Williams and Rhys Patchell providing cover in the half-backs among the replacements in Toyota.

Wales team to face Georgia

15. Liam Williams (Saracens)
14. George North (Ospreys)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets)
11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints)
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets)

1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Jake Ball (Scarlets)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (c)
6. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)
8. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues)

Replacements:

16. Elliot Dee (Dragons)
17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys)
18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues)
19. Aaron Shingler (Scarlets)
20. Ross Moriarty (Dragons)
21. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues)
22. Rhys Patchell (Scarlets)
23. Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets)

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