Sport World

Alun Wyn Jones returns to Wales starting line-up as Gatland makes 15 changes to face Ireland

Wareen Gatland has made 15 changes ahead of the team’s final World Cup preparation game against Ireland.

Scarlets fly-half Rhys Patchell will feature in the side despite not making a Test start since June last year due to injury.

Gatland named a powerful line-up for Dublin, changing it entirely from the side beaten 22-17 by Ireland last weekend.

Patchell apart, it also includes the likes of captain Alun Wyn Jones, wing George North, centre Jonathan Davies.

Wales v Ireland

Jake Ball features in the second-row with Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty in the back-row.

Wyn Jones, Elliot Dee and Tomas Francis are the starting front-row for Saturday’s game at the Aviva Stadium.

On return from Dublin, Wales will depart for Japan on Wednesday September 11.

“This is our final preparation match so it is important we get enough rugby into us, get rugby ready ahead of our RWC opener against Georgia which is just over two weeks away,” said Gatland.

“It is important we hit the ground running in Japan and we give the players enough time on the field.

“Saturday is the first time these players would have taken to the field as members of the RWC squad, it has been a big week and it is a big opportunity for players to put their hand up and secure spots for the starting XV in Japan.”

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