August 9, 2019 / 10:52 AM / 8 days ago

Jones to set appearance record for Wales

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Wales v Ireland - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Britain - March 16, 2019 Wales' Alun Wyn Jones celebrates completing the Grand Slam and winning the Triple Crown and Six Nations Championship with his medal Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Alun Wyn Jones will become his country’s most capped rugby player of all time on Sunday when he captains Wales against England at Twickenham in his 135th test match.

The 33-year-old lock will lead a strong selection as Wales coach Warren Gatland named an unchanged backline from the side that clinched the Grand Slam against Ireland in March for the first of back-to-back World Cup warm-up games.

The second is in Cardiff next Saturday.

“The squad are looking forward to this weekend and getting a game under their belt after a really intense preparation period,” Gatland said on Friday.

“We have picked a strong looking team and we are looking forward to seeing how they kick on after a successful couple of campaigns.

“These matches are really important leading into the Rugby World Cup, to ensure that both the players are ready for the tournament but also to give players opportunity to put their hands up for selection.

“There is a balance with selection, a needed to mix continuity from what we have achieved and opportunity and we will look to do that over the next couple of weeks.”

Team: 15-Liam Williams, 14-George North, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Hadleigh Parkes, 11-Josh Adams, 10-Gareth Anscombe, 9-Gareth Davies, 8-Ross Moriarty, 7-Justin Tipuric, 6-Aaron Wainwright, 5-Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4-Adam Beard, 3-Tomas Francis, 2-Ken Owen, 1-Nicky Smith.

Replacements: 16-Elliot Dee, 17-Wyn Jones, 18-Dillon Lewis, 19-Jake Ball, 20-Aaron Shingler, 21-Tomos Williams, 22-Dan Biggar, 23-Owen Watkin.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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