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Wales keep faith with unchanged squad for Grand Slam decider

Blues News | 14th March 2019


Cardiff Blues duo Gareth Anscombe and Josh Navidi retain their starting spots for Saturday's titanic Guinness Six Nations clash against Ireland, as Warren Gatland names an unchanged squad for the Grand Slam decider.

Back row Navidi joins Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies and Josh Adams as the only four Wales players to start every game in this year's Championship. Anscombe has also featured in all five fixtures, with his only bench appearance coming in the second round of action against Italy in Rome.

Prop Dillon Lewis, who is yet to lose in a Wales shirt, features on the bench for the fourth consecutive game, having missed out on the Championship opener in Paris.

Captain, Alun Wyn Jones, will equal Welshman Gethin Jenkins’ total Test appearance record and move to joint fifth in the overall world Test appearance list.

Head coach Gatland said: “We’ve named an unchanged squad and rewarded the players for the last couple of outings and the last couple of victories.

“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 of what is going to be a huge game.

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

Wales: Liam Williams (Saracens, 55 Caps); George North (Ospreys, 82 Caps), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets, 72 Caps), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets, 14 Caps), Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors, 10 Caps); Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues, 25 Caps), Gareth Davies (Scarlets, 40 Caps); Rob Evans (Scarlets, 34 Caps), Ken Owens (Scarlets, 63 Caps), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs, 39 caps), Adam Beard (Ospreys, 12 Caps), Alun Wyn Jones (Capt) (Ospreys, 124 Caps), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues, 15 Caps), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, 63 Caps), Ross Moriarty (Dragons, 30 Caps)

Replacements: Elliot Dee (Dragons, 17 Caps), Nicky Smith (Ospreys, 27 Caps), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues, 11 Caps), Jake Ball (Scarlets, 31 Caps), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons, 7 Caps), Aled Davies (Ospreys, 15 Caps), Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, 69 Caps), Owen Watkin (Ospreys, 12 Caps)‚Äč