Francis starts for Welsh against Fiji

francis rwc training.jpg
Exeter Chiefs prop Tomas Francis has been named in the Welsh starting line-up for their Rugby World Cup encounter with Fiji on Wednesday. Picture: Huw Evans Picture Agency

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs prop Tomas Francis will once again start for Wales ahead of their latest Rugby World Cup encounter against Fiji in Oita on Wednesday.

The talented tight-head lines-up in a Welsh pack which shows two changes from the side that beat Australia last time out.

Ross Moriarty's promotion from the bench to start in his 37th Test at No.8, means Josh Navidi shifts to blindside flanker replacing Aaron Wainwright, who now drops to the bench. Head coach Warren Gatland has also rested Justin Tipuric for the game with James Davies replacing him at openside flanker.

Dan Biggar has overcome a head injury to claim the fly-half role with Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies partnering in the midfield and Josh Adams, George North and Liam Williams comprising the back three.

"We're still thinking about the bigger picture in terms of hopefully later in the tournament," said Gatland. "A couple of players get an opportunity. Ross Moriarty coming back is hungry and James Davies as well at seven.

"We've been really happy with Justin Tipuric's form but it just gives us an opportunity to look at someone else. If for some reason he picks up some sort of injury, it shows us whether James can fit into that spot or someone like Josh Navidi can play at seven as well.

"Moriarty and Davies are two guys who are very hungry for an opportunity and Rhys Carre comes on to the bench as well. We're keeping everyone on their toes".

Wales are currently positioned second in Pool D and need to win one of their games against Fiji and Uruguay to reach the quarter-finals.


1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (17 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets) (69 Caps)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (45 Caps)
4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (38 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, capt) (130 Caps) 
6. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (21 Caps)
7. James Davies (Scarlets) (5 Caps)
8. Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (36 Caps)
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (46 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (75 Caps)
11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) (16 Caps)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (20 Caps)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (78 Caps)
14. George North (Ospreys) (88 Caps)
15. Liam Williams (Saracens) (60 Caps)

16. Elliot Dee (Dragons) (24 Caps)
17. Rhys Carre (Saracens) (1 Cap)
18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (17 Caps)
19. Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (22 Caps)
20. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (14 Caps)
21. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) (11 Caps)
22. Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) (15 Caps)
23. Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (17 Caps)

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