Wales team news: Alun Wyn Jones to earn 150th Test cap vs Ireland in Autumn Nations Cup
Wales face Ireland in Dublin on Friday (7pm kick-off) in the Autumn Nations Cup opener; Alun Wyn Jones to earn 150th Test cap, Tomas Francis to win 50th Test cap. Justin Tipuric returns to starting line-up on the openside, while backline unchanged
Last Updated: 11/11/20 12:43pm
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones will earn a record-extending 150th Test cap (141 Wales, nine British and Irish Lions) on Friday, when he leads the side out to play Ireland in Dublin in the Autumn Nations Cup.
Elsewhere, prop Tomas Francis will win his 50th cap in a front row alongside Rhys Carre and Ryan Elias, with Will Rowlands and Jones continuing their partnership in the second-row.
Justin Tipuric returns to the starting line-up after recovering from tonsillitis and features alongside Shane Lewis-Hughes and Taulupe Faletau.
Wales have named an unchanged back-line with Gareth Davies and Dan Biggar at half-back, with Owen Watkin and Jonathan Davies partnering in the midfield. Josh Adams, Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny are named in the back-three.
𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 ⫶ Wales name team for #AutumnNationsCup opener ☘️ https://t.co/MD00qCAjus— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) November 11, 2020
𝟭𝟱𝟬 ⫶ 𝗔𝗪𝗝 extends world Test record⠀
𝟱𝟬 ⫶ Test half-century for 𝗧𝗼𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗙𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗶𝘀⠀
𝟭 ⫶ Cap newydd ar y fainc: 𝗖𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘂𝗺 𝗦𝗵𝗲𝗲𝗱𝘆⠀
🏴 #HWFN pic.twitter.com/Glo3nx1jUD
"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 head coach Wayne Pivac.
"We have got four matches in the Autumn Nations Cup to perform and we are excited to be kicking the tournament off."
On the bench Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones and Samson Lee provide the front-row cover with Jake Ball and Aaron Wainwright completing the forward contingent. Uncapped fly-half Callum Sheedy is named in the matchday squad for the first time.
Sheedy is joined on the bench by Lloyd Williams and George North - the latter in line for his 100th Test appearance if he takes to the field (currently on 96 Wales caps plus 3 British & Irish Lions).
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Rhys Carre, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Will Rowlands, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 George North.