Wales make changes galore for New Zealand playoff

Warren Gatland (AFP)
Warren Gatland (AFP)

Tokyo - Wales coach Warren Gatland has made nine changes to the team to play New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup third-place playoff match on Friday.

In what will be his final match in charge after 12 years as head coach of the Welsh, Gatland brings in props Nicky Smith and Dillon Lewis to the front row either side of Ken Owens.

Adam Beard partners captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second-row, while James Davies comes into the back-row alongside Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty.

Tomos Williams and Rhys Patchell form a new halfback partnership for Wales whilst Owen Watkin features alongside Jonathan Davies in midfield.

Josh Adams, who currently leads the try scoring charts at the World Cup with six, remains in the back three alongside Owen Lane who comes in on the wing and Hallam Amos at fullback.

Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre and Wyn Jones provide the front-row cover on the bench with Jake Ball and Aaron Shingler completing the forward contingent.

Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar and Hadleigh Parkes provide the backline cover.

Wales lost 19-16 in the semi-final to South Africa, who play England, 19-7 victors over the All Blacks in their last-four clash, in Saturday's final.

Kick-off is at 11:00 SA time.

Teams:

Wales

15 Hallam Amos, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 James Davies, 6 Justin Tipuric, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Nicky Smith

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Wyn Jones, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Hadleigh Parkes

New Zealand

15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Jordie Barrett

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