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Sport Wales make nine changes for bronze medal match against New Zealand
Media playback is not supported on this device Owen Lane on his world cup opportunity2019 Rugby World Cup bronze finalVenue: Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo Date: Friday, 1 November Time: 09:00 GMTCoverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and appWales…
|2019 Rugby World Cup bronze final|
|Venue: Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo Date: Friday, 1 November Time: 09:00 GMT|
|Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app|
Wales wing Owen Lane will make his World Cup debut in the bronze match against New Zealand on Friday.
Cardiff Blues player Lane, 21, was a late call-up to the squad last week to replace the injured Josh Navidi.
Warren Gatland has made nine changes to the side beaten by South Africa in the semi-final for his last game in charge.
Tomas Francis (shoulder), George North (hamstring), Aaron Wainwright (hamstring) and Leigh Halfpenny (concussion) are all unavailable.
New Zealand have made seven changes to the team that lost to England in the last four in what will be captain Kieran Read and head coach Steve Hansen’s last international match.
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For Wales, Hallam Amos replaces Halfpenny at full-back, while tournament top try-scorer Josh Adams completes the back three as he starts his seventh World Cup match.
Jonathan Davies starts again after returning to the side against South Africa and is partnered in the midfield by Owen Watkin, with Hadleigh Parkes dropping to the replacements.
Parkes will be joined on the bench by Gareth Davies and Dan Biggar, with half-backs Rhys Patchell and Tomas Williams handed starts.
Ken Owens stays at hooker with Elliot Dee handed a seventh replacement role in the tournament, while props Nicky Smith and Dillon Lewis start with regular loose-head Wyn Jones covering the tight-head.
Francis suffered a partial dislocation of his shoulder in the first half against the Springboks.
Adam Beard is handed a start alongside captain Alun Wyn Jones, while James Davies replaces Wainwright in the back-row, where he will play alongside Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty.
Dee will play his 16th Test of 2019 if he comes on from the bench. No other player has been selected as much in Test matches by any nation this year.
New Zealand changes
For New Zealand there are seven personnel changes with an extra positional alteration as Scott Barrett moves from flanker to lock with Shannon Frizzell and Sam Cane back in the back-row.
Dane Coles gets the start at hooker. Rieko Ioane and Ben Smith are on the wings, with Sonny Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty coming in at centre.
Wales boss Gatland hopes players overlooked earlier in the tournament will want to make their mark.
“There are a few guys who hopefully want to go out and prove a point that perhaps they should have had more rugby in this tournament,” said the New Zealander.
“It’s a good position for them to be in. It’s a position for us to hopefully be positive about the changes in giving players a chance.”
Gatland admitted he had few options in the backline.
“It (selection) wasn’t really difficult at all,” said Gatland.
He added: “We wanted to give some players a chance. We feel like Tomos Williams deserves a chance, to see Rhys Patchell at 10 because, going forward, there is Gareth Anscombe’s injury and Dan Biggar is not always available to Wales given his commitments [with Northampton] in England.
“Owen Watkin deserves a chance and then the back three were really the last three standing.
“It’s great to see Owen Lane get a chance to play. He was very unlucky not to be in the squad in the first place.
“Hallam gets a chance at full-back, a position where we potentially see his future.”
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Last World Cup game for over-30s?
The Wales coach says some players might be playing their last World Cup match, with captain Alun Wyn Jones, Owens, Tipuric, Biggar, Jonathan Davies and replacements Parkes and Aaron Shingler all 30 or over.
“We realise that this will probably be the last World Cup game for some of the guys. We recognise that and we’ve just made a couple of changes to freshen the legs as well.”
New Zealand boss and former Wales coach Steve Hansen said: “This was a tough team to select because, as always, everyone wanted to play.
“But with a short turnaround and the nature of the tournament, we feel that this is the right team for this occasion.”
Wales: Amos; Lane, Jonathan Davies, Watkin, Adams; Patchell, T Williams; N Smith, Owens, D Lewis, Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Tipuric, James Davies, Moriarty.
Replacements: E Dee, Carre, W Jones, Ball, Shingler, G Davies, Biggar, Parkes.
New Zealand: B Barrett; B Smith, Crotty, SB Williams, Ioane; Mo’unga, A Smith; Moody, Coles, Laulala, Retallick, S Barrett, Frizell, Cane, Read (capt).
Replacements: Coltman, Moli, Ta’avao, Tuipulotu, Todd, Webber, Lienert-Brown, J Barrett.
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