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Changes kept to a minimum as Wales name team to face Ireland on Friday night

The Aviva Stadium hosts the Autumn Nations Cup opener.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac and his team earlier this year.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac and his team earlier this year.
Image: David Davies

THE WALES TEAM to face Ireland in the opening game of the Autumn Nations Cup on Friday [KO 7pm, RTÉ / Channel 4] at the Aviva Stadium has been named.

Wayne Pivac has stuck to the original starting XV that was named to face Scotland, as Wales look to bounce back from that forgettable 14-10 Six Nations defeat.

Justin Tipuric was a late withdrawal for the that one, but he’s back in the starting lineup to face Ireland after recovering from tonsillitis. 

Uncapped fly-half Callum Sheedy is named in the matchday squad for the first time, meaning he’s in line for his Welsh debut from the bench where he joins the returning George North.

Meanwhile, Alun Wyn Jones extends his world Test record with cap number 150 and Tomas Francis hits the 50-mark.

Ireland boss Andy Farrell yesterday named a much-changed 23 for tomorrow night’s clash, with James Lowe handed a starting Test debut and Jacob Stockdale continuing at fullback. 

Ulster out-half Billy Burns is set for his debut off the bench, too.

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WALES (team to face Ireland, Wales caps in brackets)

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (91 Caps)
14. Liam Williams (Scarlets) (64 Caps)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (83 Caps)
12. Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (23 Caps)
11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) (26 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (85 Caps)
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (55 Caps)

1. Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues (10 Caps)
2. Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (15 Caps)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (49 Caps)
4. Will Rowlands (Wasps) (2 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (140 Caps) (CAPT)
6. Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues) (1 Cap)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (77 Caps)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (78 Caps)

Replacements

16. Elliot Dee (Dragons) (29 Caps)
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (26 Caps)
18. Samson Lee (Scarlets) (42 Caps)
19. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (46 Caps)
20. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (23 Caps)
21. Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues) (28 Caps)
22. Callum Sheedy (Bristol) (*Uncapped)
23. George North (Ospreys) (96 Caps)

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