Alun Wyn Jones will win his 129th cap for Wales when he captains a strong side for their opening World Cup match against Georgia on Monday. Lock Jones will match Gethin Jenkins’ tally of international appearances in Toyota City in the Pool D encounter at the start of what will be his fourth World Cup campaign.
Jones will bed down alongside Jake Ball in the second row with Cory Hill and Adam Bead missing through injury as part of a pack which features Aaron Wainwright. The Dragons flanker will play on the blindside with Josh Navidi chosen at No.8 ahead of Ross Moriaty, who is named on the bench. Prop Wyn Jones has beaten out Nicky Smith to start in the front row, while Dan Diggar starts at fly-half with Gareth Davies operating at scrum-half.
Wales are the heavy favourites to start their World Cup campaign with a win and coach Warren Gatland is eager to make sure there are no mistakes from his team. “With Georgia, we know how strong they are up front and their scrum is a weapon,” said Gatland, when asked why he had gone with Jones over Smith. “We’ve got to be competent at scrum time, We’ve been very impressed with the way Wyn has scrummaged in training and it’s one of his strengths. “It’s important for us and it’s been a real focus for us, particularly this week.”