North wins 50th cap for Wales

Date published: August 27 2015

George North will make his return from injury and win his 50th cap for Wales when they face Ireland in Dublin.

Alun Wyn Jones will lead Wales in a side that sees Exeter Chiefs prop Tomas Francis make his international debut.

Francis, 23, will pack down in an experienced side with Gethin Jenkins and Ken Owens joining him in the front row. Bradley Davies will pack down alongside captain Jones in the second row.

British and Irish Lions trio Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau make up the back row, with Sam Warburton not involved.

Ospreys half-backs Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar continue their partnership with Jamie Roberts and Scott Willams named in the midfield.

George North, Alex Cuthbert and Leigh Halfpenny complete the back line.

“The squad are looking forward to travelling over to Ireland for what is a big warm-up fixture,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

“We have trained well over the past few weeks and Saturday is a chance for a lot of players to get their first taste of rugby this campaign.

“We trimmed the squad down in the middle of August and the remaining 38 have worked extremely hard.

“It’s always a great game in Dublin and there is an important factor to this match, with the Rugby World Cup squad announced just a few days later.”

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Paul James, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 James King, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Hallam Amos

Date: Saturday, August 29

Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Kick-off: 14:30 local (13:30 GMT)

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

Assistant Referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Luke Pearce (England)

TMO: Graham Hughes (England)