Friday Aug 28, 2015

George North recalled as Warren Gatland names strong Welsh side

George North will return to international action this weekend when Wales play Ireland in Dublin. The winger’s comeback after a long lay-off due to a series of concussions will coincide with his 50th cap for his country.

Warren Gatland has also handed Exeter prop Thomas Francis his international debut on Saturday. The 23 year-old will join Gethin Jenkins and hooker Ken Owens in the front row.

Experienced second-row Alun Wyn-Jones will captain the squad in regular skipper Sam Warburton’s absence.

Warburton is out with a minor knock to his shoulder, but is ‘nothing serious’ according to Gatland. Making up the back-row are Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau.

North – whose last competitive appearance came in March while playing for club Northampton against Wasps – will form a familiar partnership, with Alex Cuthbert and Leigh Halfpenny completing the back three.

After suffering a disappointing 35-21 defeat to Ireland in their opening Rugby World Cup warm-up match in Cardiff, Gatland is looking to this weekend to turn things around.

In the WRU’s official communiqué, Gatland said: “We trimmed the squad down in the middle of August and the remaining 38 have worked extremely hard.

“We have trained well over the past few weeks and Saturday is a chance for a lot of players to get their first taste of rugby this campaign.

“The squad are looking forward to travelling over to Ireland for what is a big warm-up fixture,” said Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland.

Saturday, 29 August, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, kick-off 14:30 BST


Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), George North (Northampton Saints), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, CAPT), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Paul James (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), James King (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Ireland team

Rob Kearney (Leinster); Dave Kearney (Leinster), Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster), Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Keith Earls (Munster); Johnny Sexton (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster); Jack McGrath (Leinster), Richardt Strauss (Leinster), Nathan White (Connacht); Iain Henderson (Ulster), Paul O’Connell (Munster CAPT), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster).

Replacements: Sean Cronin (Leinster), Dave Kilcoyne (Munster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), Sean O’Brien (Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Felix Jones (Munster).  


Related Articles

  • 60 WEEKS AGO

    Dragons secure signing of one of world rugby's...

  • 88 WEEKS AGO

    Wales legend James Hook eyes coaching career...

  • 90 WEEKS AGO

    Andy Powell reveals buggy story


Great Tries

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    The very best 'trick shots' in rugby show exactly why we love this game


    The time an All Blacks great combined with uncapped Australian legend to score 80-metre stunner


    WATCH: Closer look at Barrett offload which wowed fans in Rugby Championship masterclass


    Re-live one of the most iconic hat tricks in Blues history by Fiji great Rupeni Caucaunibuca


    Re-live possibly Jonny Wilkinson's best Twickenham performance against All Blacks in 2002

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play


    Argentina flanker treads fine line against Wallabies with two naughty challenges

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Imagine giving Keith Wood a right hook, and the ref sends your teammate off

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Five minutes of Faf de Klerk on-pitch shenanigans is pure gold to watch

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Head on head clash dismissed but Wiese still misses All Blacks match

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Monstrous hit leaves scrum half clutching chest after probably biggest red card of 2021

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: Amazing angle of Barrett's historic match-winning kick over Springboks

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Honey Badger goes mega viral with sheep saving video

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Springbok star hits back at journalist's question, says Wallabies were 'street smart'

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Austin Healey says new laws don't encourage player honesty after Exeter incident

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Tongan Thor makes EPIC assist with blind pass even Quade Cooper would be proud of

View All


  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Five minutes of Faf de Klerk on-pitch shenanigans is pure gold to watch

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Montoya calls All Blacks star a pu**y in hilarious head loss moment


    French players lift 1+ ton car off the road ahead of Top 14 game


    Committed winger suffers unluckiest injury of the year after just TWO minutes


    These ridiculous interviews vary from funny to downright bizarre

View All


  • 47 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 84 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 84 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 84 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 85 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features


    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 31 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 36 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 38 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 44 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

View All