7 Ospreys to face Japan

Wales have made 10 changes to their side to face Japan at Principality Stadium on Saturday (KO 14:30), with Keelan Giles in line for his senior international debut after being named on the bench.

He is one of seven Ospreys included, with Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate and James King all starting. Giles is joined on the bench by Sam Davies, who won his first cap against Australia two weekends ago.

Rob Howley has named a starting XV packed with experienced (616 Caps) and led by captain Sam Warburton.

Warburton moves to openside flanker where he is joined in the back-row by Lydiate and King.  It’s an all-new front-row for Wales with Samson Lee named alongside Smith and Baldwin, all three starting on the bench versus Argentina last weekend.

Cory Hill, who made his debut against Australia in the opening Under Armour Series encounter, packs down alongside Alun Wyn Jones, who will win his 104th cap for Wales, in the second-row.

Cardiff Blues duo Lloyd Williams and Gareth Anscombe partner at half-back, with the later making his first start at fly-half for Wales.

The experienced pairing of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies will line-up for a 46th time in the midfield together for their country.

There is one personnel change in the back-three with Alex Cuthbert coming into the side for George North.  Liam Williams starts at full-back with Leigh Halfpenny moving to the wing.

“We have made a number of changes but have named a very experienced side,” said Head Coach Rob Howley.

“Continuity and momentum is important, hence keeping the likes of Alun Wyn, Jon Davies and Sam (Warburton) in the side, but it is also an opportunity for players who were disappointed against Australia to start and for players who have been pushing on selection.

“We have made a change with Liam (Williams) moving to full-back and Leigh (Halfpenny) onto the wing.  Leigh has done well at full-back but we are giving an opportunity to Liam, it’s his favorable position, Leigh has played on the wing before they have trained well there and we want to have a look at what this option gives us.

“Japan are a much changed side from the Rugby World Cup but Jamie (Joseph) is developing his team and their recent performances echo the dangers of the RWC with their ability to move the ball wide early and they are a great counter attacking team.

“It’s important we look at our game and are clinical in what we want to do this weekend.”

On the bench Cardiff Blues trio, Kristian Dacey, Rhys Gill and Scott Andrews provide the front-row cover with Jake Ball and Ross Moriarty completing the forward contingent.  Gareth and Sam Davies are joined by uncapped 18-year-old Giles who will become the 11th youngest Wales international if he takes to the field on Saturday.

Less than 2,000 tickets remain to watch Wales take on the Brave Blossoms, priced at £20 for adults and £10 for children.  With the fixture expected to sell-out, supporters are urged to buy online ahead of Saturday using the print at home option.  Tickets can be purchased be visiting wru.wales/tickets



15. Liam Williams (Scarlets) (36 Caps)

14. Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon) (64 Caps)

13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (57 Caps)

12. Jamie Roberts (Harlequins) (84 Caps)

11. Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues) (43 Caps)

10. Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues) (8 Caps)

9. Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues) (27 Caps)

1. Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (5 Caps)

2. Scott Baldwin (Ospreys) (26 Caps)

3. Samson Lee (Scarlets) (27 Caps)

4. Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons) (1 Cap)

5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (103 Caps)

6. Dan Lydiate (Ospreys) (58 Caps)

7. Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues) (68 Caps) (CAPT)

8. James King (Ospreys) (9 Caps)



16. Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues) (3 Caps)

17. Rhys Gill (Cardiff Blues) (6 Caps)

18. Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues) (12 Caps)

19. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (20 Caps)

20. Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby (11 Caps)

21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (19 Caps)

22. Sam Davies (Ospreys) (1 Cap)

23. Keelan Giles (Ospreys) (Uncapped)