Wales team to face Ireland in Autumn Nations Cup

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Wales v Scotland - Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, Wales, Britain - October 31, 2020 Wales coach Wayne Pivac wears a protective mask before the match REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

CARDIFF (Reuters) - Wales made a single change to their team for Friday’s start of the new Autumn Nations Cup away against Ireland despite losing their last five matches.

Justin Tipuric returns to the starting line-up after recovering from tonsillitis and features alongside Shane Lewis-Hughes and Taulupe Faletau in the loose trio.

“Friday night is the start of a new international season and a new campaign and we are looking forward to getting out there and showing what we can do,” said Wales coach Wayne Pivac on Wednesday.

The squad announcement comes days after parting with defence coach Byron Hayward in the wake of losing four out of five matches in the Six Nations plus a warm-up test in France.

Prop Tomas Francis will win his 50th cap and captain Alun Wyn Jones will extend his world record to 150 test appearances. George North returns to the bench and will mark a ton of test caps should he be used.

Uncapped flyhalf Callum Sheedy, who was an Irish junior international, is named in the matchday squad for the first time.


15-Leigh Halfpenny, 14-Liam Williams, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Owen Watkin, 11-Josh Adams, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Gareth Davies, 8-Taulupe Faletau, 7-Justin Tipuric, 6-Shane Lewis-Hughes, 5-Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4-Will Rowlands, 3-Tomas Francis, 2-Ryan Elias, 1-Rhys Carre.

Replacements: 16-Ellliot Dee, 17-Wyn Jones, 18-Samson Lee, 19-Jake Ball, 20-Aaron Wainwright, 21-Lloyd Williams, 22-Callum Sheedy, 23-George North.

Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge