Wales' Tipuric returns for Autumn Nations opener against Ireland

London (AFP) –


Wales coach Wayne Pivac made just the one change to his starting side on Tuesday as he looks to end a run of five straight defeats by recalling Justin Tipuric for the Autumn Nations Cup opener away to Ireland in Dublin on Friday.

Dynamic flanker Tipuric missed Wales' 14-10 loss to Scotland in their coronavirus-delayed Six Nations finale at Llanelli on October 31 after withdrawing shortly before kick-off with tonsilitis.

But he has now been passed fit, with Tipuric replacing James Davies in the back row.

Pivac, who succeeded fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland as Wales coach after last year's World Cup, has otherwise kept faith with the team that lost to Scotland.

By contrast, this week saw a major shake-up of Pivac's backroom staff, with Byron Hayward ditched as Wales' defence coach just a year after his appointment.

Wales (15-1)

Leigh Halfpenny; Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies, Owen Watkin, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Taulupe Faletau, Justin Tipuric, Shane Lewis-Hughes; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Will Rowlands; Tomas Francis, Ryan Elias, Rhys Carre

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Aaron Wainwright, Lloyd Williams, Callum Sheedy, George North

Coach: Wayne Pivac (NZL)