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Wales name unchanged 23 to face Ireland

Wales name unchanged 23 to face Ireland
  • Wales name an unchanged 23 to face Ireland on Super Saturday
  • Full-back Liam Williams starts after being an injury doubt earlier in the week
  • Captain Alun Wyn Jones to equal Gethin Jenkins’ Test appearance record of 134 Test caps

Wales have named an unchanged matchday squad for their final 2019 Guinness Six Nations encounter against Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday.

Warren Gatland will oversee his 50th and final Guinness Six Nations match for Wales as his side goes into the game as the only unbeaten team in the Championship and chasing the Grand Slam.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones will equal Welshman Gethin Jenkins’ total Test appearance record as he moves to 134 Test caps (125 Wales, 9 British & Irish Lions) and to joint fifth in the overall world Test appearance list.

Jones again packs down with Adam Beard in the second row, with Rob Evans, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis continuing together in the front row – Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty comprise the backrow.

Gareth Davies and Gareth Anscombe are named as the half-backs with Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies in the centres.

Josh Adams, George North and Liam Williams once again comprise the back-three for Wales.

“We’ve named an unchanged squad and rewarded the players for the last couple of outings and the last couple of victories,” commented Gatland.

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“These players are on a very good run, they are a hugely impressive group and they deserve to be going into the final weekend with everything to play for.

“It is a great reward for them for the hard work they have put in and we are all looking forward to what is going to be a huge game.

“For a number of us as coaches this is our last Guinness Six Nations game and the fact that it is in Cardiff is extra special. There is bound to be a bit of emotion on Saturday and that is something to embrace.”

Elliot Dee, Nicky Smith and Dillon Lewis provide the front-row cover on the bench, with Jake Ball and Aaron Wainwright completing the forward contingent. Aled Davies, Dan Biggar and Owen Watkin provide the backline cover.

WALES TEAM TO PLAY IRELAND (Saturday 16 March kick-off 2.45 GMT BBC & S4C)

15. Liam Williams (Saracens)
14. George North (Ospreys)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets)
11. Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors)
10. Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues)
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
1. Rob Evans (Scarlets)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Adam Beard (Ospreys)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Capt) (Ospreys)
6. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)
8. Ross Moriarty (Dragons)

REPLACEMENTS:
16. Elliot Dee (Dragons)
17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys)
18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues)
19. Jake Ball (Scarlets)
20. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons)
21. Aled Davies (Ospreys)
22. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints)
23. Owen Watkin (Ospreys)