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Five named in Wales squad for Italy

3rd September 2015

Sam Warburton returns to the starting line-up to lead his side in their final Dove Men Test warm-up clash against Italy on Saturday (KO 17:00).

Warburton is part of a new look back-row alongside James King at flanker and Taulupe Faletau at No.8.

The same front-row which faced Ireland in Dublin last weekend will start against Italy with the World’s most capped prop Gethin Jenkins packing down with Ken Owens and Tomas Francis, who will make his first appearance at the Millennium Stadium.  Jake Ball and Dominic Day are named in the second-row.

Half-backs Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar continue their partnership whilst there is a new look mid-field with Scott Williams lining up alongside Cory Allen.

The back-three from Dublin also remains unchanged with George North and Alex Cuthbert on the wings and Leigh Halfpenny at full-back.

“With our opening Rugby World Cup fixture just two weeks away, this weekend is important run-out and opportunity for fine tuning,” said Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland.

“We were happy with the performance away from home in Ireland last weekend, but there are plenty of things we need to work on from that victory so we will be looking to put those in place on Saturday.

“We’ve made a couple of changes to try a few new combinations and ensure players get some more game time under their belts.”

Kristian Dacey, Paul James and Aaron Jarvis are named as the front-row replacements with Luke Charteris and Ross Moriarty completing the forward contingent.  Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland and Matthew Morgan provide cover for the backline.

In addition to the RWC 31-man squad, Dacey and Moriarty have remained with the Wales camp and will look to win their second caps this weekend.

Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), George North (Northampton), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Dominic Day (Bath), James King (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues) (Capt), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Bath), Matthew Morgan (Bristol).