Wales name strong side with three changes for Fiji

Taulupe Faletau will play for Bath next season

Wales coach Warren Gatland has retained all but three of the players that featured against England on Saturday for Thursday’s Rugby World Cup match against Fiji.

Matthew Morgan, Alex Cuthbert and Tyler Morgan all come into the starting side while recent call up James Hook is named on the replacements bench.

Taulupe Faletau and Dan Lydiate will win their 50th Wales caps against a Fijian side that will be looking for their first victory in this World Cup.

Morgan and Cuthbert form a new back-three alongside George North. National Dual Contracted Morgan, lines up at 13 alongside Jamie Roberts. Man of the match at Twickenham, Dan Biggar, continues his half-back partnership with try-scorer Gareth Davies.

The pack remains unchanged with Gethin Jenkins, Scott Baldwin and Tomas Francis in the front-row. Bradley Davies and Alun Wyn Jones pack down in the second row. Lydiate and Faletau will reach the milestone of 50 caps together in a back-row alongside captain Sam Warburton.

“It is important we build on the success and momentum from last weekend and take that into Thursday,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

“Fiji have performed very well in their opening two games and they will be coming to Cardiff looking to build on that themselves.

“We have made three changes through injury but go into this game with a strong side. We are looking forward to being back at the Millennium Stadium on Thursday and having the crowd right behind us in an important World Cup fixture.”

Ken Owens, Aaron Jarvis and Samson Lee are named as the front-row replacements with Luke Charteris and Justin Tipuric completing the forward contingent. Lloyd Williams and Rhys Priestland are joined by James Hook on the bench.

Wales

Matthew Morgan (Bristol Rugby), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), George North (Northampton Saints), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Capt – Cardiff Blues), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing 92), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Priestland (Bath Rugby), James Hook (Gloucester Rugby).

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