Samson Lee (Getty)
Cardiff - Scarlets duo Liam Williams and
Samson Lee have been named in a far from full strength Wales team for their
opening Rugby World Cup Pool A match against Uruguay on Sunday.
Fullback Williams and prop Lee make their
long-awaited return from injuries, the former slotting into Leigh Halfpenny's
slot at the back, while Lee packs down with Ospreys duo Paul James and Scott
Baldwin, veteran prop Gethin Jenkins rested for the game against the South
"It is great to have Liam and Samson
back in the starting line-up. They have trained incredibly hard and Sunday is a
great opportunity for them," coach Warren Gatland said ahead of the match
at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
"It's a great opportunity for all the
players and it's an exciting time ahead."
In a reshuffled side against the minnows of
the so-called "group of death" that also includes hosts England,
two-time champions and current second-ranked Australia and an exciting looking
Fiji, Williams will form a back-three alongside Alex Cuthbert and Hallam Amos.
Cory Allen and Scott Williams make up the
midfield partnership, while Rhys Priestland starts at fly-half alongside Gareth
Incumbent flyhalf Dan Biggar, centre Jamie
Roberts and wing George North are rested completely, with Gatland's eye
undoubtedly on the more taxing matches to come.
Jake Ball and Luke Charteris pack down in
the second-row, normal starter Alun Wyn Jones not even named in the match-day
23, while there is a new look back row with captain Sam Warburton starting at
blindside flank alongside Justin Tipuric and James King at No 8.
"The squad are extremely excited to
kick their Rugby World Cup campaign off on Sunday," Gatland said.
"Playing in a World Cup, in your home
country, at your home ground is a great honour and I'm sure the players will
take that into the game.
"Uruguay will be looking to show what
they are capable of and we know we need to be clinical on Sunday."
Ken Owens, Aaron Jarvis and Tomas Francis
are named as the front row replacements along with three further forwards -
Dominic Day, Dan Lydiate and Ross Moriarty. Lloyd Williams and Matthew Morgan
complete the replacements.
Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 James King, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton (captain), 5 Jake Ball, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Paul James
Substitutes: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Ross Moriarty, 22 Lloyd Williams, 23 Matthew Morgan