Patchell named in much-changed Wales team for Dublin clash

Scarlets fly-half Rhys Patchell will feature in a Wales team showing 15 changes for Saturday’s final World Cup preparation game against Ireland.

Patchell endured an injury-hit campaign last season and has not made a Test start since June last year.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named a powerful team for Dublin, changing it entirely from the side beaten 22-17 by Ireland last weekend.

Patchell apart, it also includes the likes of captain Alun Wyn Jones, wing George North, centre Jonathan Davies and openside flanker Justin Tipuric.

Patchell suffered concussion issues and a hamstring injury last term, stalling his international hopes.

But he delivered an impressive try-scoring display off the bench last Saturday, and it helped him edge out Jarrod Evans for a place in Gatland’s 31-man World Cup squad.

Leinster Rugby v Scarlets – European Champions Cup – Semi Final – Aviva Stadium
Scarlets’ Rhys Patchell gets his chance (PA)

There are also opportunities in Dublin for scrum-half Tomos Williams, prop Wyn Jones and hooker Elliot Dee.

Wales complete their warm-up schedule at the Aviva Stadium ahead of an opening World Cup match against Georgia in Toyota City, Japan on September 23.

Gatland said: “This is our final preparation match, so it is important we get enough rugby into us and get rugby-ready ahead of our RWC opener against Georgia, which is just over two weeks away.

“It is important we hit the ground running in Japan and we give the players enough time on the field.

“Saturday is the first time these players would have taken to the field as members of the RWC squad.

“It has been a big week, and it is a big opportunity for players to put their hand up and secure spots for the starting XV in Japan.”

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