Rugby World Cup 2011

Wales change four for Irish

2011-10-06 07:18
Warren Gatland (File)

Wellingotn - Wales coach Warren Gatland has made four changes to the team to play Ireland in the World Cup quarter-final here on Saturday, buoyed by the return from fitness of Shane Williams and Dan Lydiate.

Williams returns to his usual left wing berth, with Leigh Halfpenny shifting to fullback in place of Lee Byrne who drops out of the match-day 22.

Teenager George North switches from left to right wing to accommodate Williams.

Lydiate is back from an ankle injury to replace Ryan Jones at blindside flanker, while Jonathan Davies comes back into midfield alongside Jamie Roberts, Scott Williams dropping to the bench.

Alun-Wyn Jones takes the place of Bradley Davies in the second row, the latter named as a replacement alongside James Hook, with no place for veteran playmaker Stephen Jones.

"It's a great position to be in when you are struggling to find a place for players in the squad and the starting line-up instead of having to think who can make up the numbers, which has sometimes been the case," said Gatland.

"This is the Rugby World Cup quarter-final time and we had some tough decisions to make with the likes of Dan, Shane and James returning from injury and the side having done so well in their absence," the New Zealander explained.

"We believe this is the side which gives us the best chance of winning this game against an Ireland team which not only topped their group but beat the Wallabies on the way," former Ireland coach Gatland added.

The front row is unchanged, with Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins propping up Huw Bennett, while Mike Phillips and Rhys Priestland again start at half-back.


15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Gethin Jenkins

Substitutes: 16 Lloyd Burns, 17 Paul James, 18 Bradley Davies, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 James Hook, 22 Scott Williams

15 Robert Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best/Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.

Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin/Damien Varley, 17 Tom Court, 18 Donnacha Ryan, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Jonathan Sexton, 22 Andrew Trimble


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