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Wales change 10 to take on Japan

Wales will be led by Sam Warburton as they take on Japan with a side that shows ten changes from the one that narrowly beat Argentina.

Warburton moves to openside and is joined in the back row by Ospreys duo Dan Lydiate and James King.

There’s an all-new front row with Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin and Samson Lee, who all started on the bench against the Pumas last weekend, called into the starting side.

Cory Hill, who made his debut against Australia in the opening game of the autumn series, packs down alongside Alun Wyn Jones, who will win his 104th cap for Wales, in the second-row.

Cardiff Blues duo Lloyd Williams and Gareth Anscombe partner at half-back, with the latter making his first start at fly half for Wales.

The experienced pairing of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies will line-up for a 46th time in the midfield together for their country.

There is one personnel change in the back-three with Alex Cuthbert coming into the side for George North. Liam Williams starts at full-back with Leigh Halfpenny moving to the wing.

On the bench Cardiff Blues trio, Kristian Dacey, Rhys Gill and Scott Andrews provide the front-row cover with Jake Ball and Ross Moriarty completing the forward contingent.

Gareth Davies and Sam Davies are joined by uncapped 18-year-old wing Keelan Giles.

“We have made a number of changes but have named a very experienced side,” said Wales head coach Rob Howley.

“Continuity and momentum is important, hence keeping the likes of Alun Wyn, Jon Davies and Sam (Warburton) in the side, but it is also an opportunity for players who were disappointed against Australia to start and for players who have been pushing on selection.

“We have made a change with Liam (Williams) moving to full back and Leigh (Halfpenny) onto the wing. Leigh has done well at full back but we are giving an opportunity to Liam, it’s his favorable position, Leigh has played on the wing before they have trained well there and we want to have a look at what this option gives us.

“Japan are a much changed side from the Rugby World Cup but Jamie (Joseph) is developing his team and their recent performances echo the dangers of the Rugby World Cup with their ability to move the ball wide early and they are a great counter attacking team.

“It’s important we look at our game and are clinical in what we want to do this weekend.”

Wales: Liam Williams; Leigh Halfpenny Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Alex Cuthbert; Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams; Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Samson Lee, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (capt), James King.

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Rhys Gill, Scott Andrews, Jake Ball, Ross Moriarty, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Keelan Giles

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