CARDIFF (Reuters) - Wales kept to their plan of fielding a strong selection for a second week in a row on Thursday as coach Warren Gatland made only three changes to the team to play England in their Rugby World Cup warm-up at the Principality Stadium.
Jake Ball, James Davies and Dan Biggar come into the starting XV for Wales’ second of four preparatory internationals on Saturday after England beat them 33-19 at Twickenham last week.
Flyhalf Biggar replaces the unfortunate Gareth Anscombe, who suffered knee ligament damage at Twickenham and will miss the tournament in Japan.
Ball comes into the second row alongside captain Alun Wyn Jones, with Davies packing down in the back row alongside Aaron Wainwright and Ross Moriarty.
James will also play alongside elder brother Jonathan Davies for the first time in a Wales jersey.
Wales want to keep changes to a minimum to replicate their first two games at the World Cup. They start against Georgia in Toyota on Monday, Sept. 23 and then meet Australia on Sunday, Sept. 29 in Tokyo in their second Pool D game.
“This weekend is another opportunity for us to take the field, test ourselves and continue our preparation for Japan,” said Gatland.
“It is a little over five weeks until we kick off our campaign and it is important we are fully prepared and rugby-ready by then.
“We were disappointed to get the loss last weekend so it is important we step it up on Saturday and put in a big display in front a of a packed Principality Stadium.
“The squad are looking forward to getting back out there, taking another step towards the World Cup and putting in a big performance,” Gatland added.
Team: 15-Liam Williams, 14-George North, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Hadleigh Parkes, 11-Josh Adams, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Gareth Davies, 8-Ross Moriarty, 7-James Davies, 6- Aaron Wainwright, 5-Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4-Jake Ball, 3-Tomas Francis, 2-Ken Owens, 1-Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16-Elliot Dee, 17-Wyn Jones, 18-Dillon Lewis, 19-Aaron Shingler, 20-Josh Navidi, 21-Aled Davies, 22-Jarrod Evans, 23-Owen Watkin.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Tony Lawrence