South Africa vs Wales : Warren Gatland has named his side to take on South Africa in the Rugby World Cup semi-final this weekend, and it’s a mixed bag on the injury front.
Liam Williams has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament with an ankle injury following an accidental collision during training, while Jonathan Davies has been deemed fit enough to be named in the starting line-up for Sunday’s huge clash.
The centre was named in last week’s starting team to take on France in the quarter-finals but was withdrawn at the eleventh hour after alerting medics that he was not fit to play the day before that match.
Leigh Halfpenny now starts at full-back on Sunday to earn his 85th cap, Ross Moriarty starts following Josh Navidi’s tournament-ending injury while captain Alun Wyn Jones will move to joint-second on the all-time international appearance list on Sunday, level with Sergio Parisse on 142 tests (133 for Wales plus 9 British & Irish Lions appearances).
Wales’ team announcement comes after South Africa made the choice to name their team a day early on Thursday, making one change to the side that beat Japan — an injury-forced decision to leave out star winger Cheslin Kolbe, which sees S’Busiso Nkosi step in as his replacement.
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis; Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones ©; Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Aaron Shingler, Tomos Williams, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin.
South Africa: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 S’Busiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 1 Tendai Mtawarira, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Lood de Jager, 6 Siya Kolisi (capt), 7 Pieter-Steph Du Toit, 8 Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Francois Louw, Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn.
Rugby World Cup semi-final venue waterlogged just 24 hours before first match
Here are a few more snaps from the waterlogged pitch at Yokohama International Stadium this morning, where England take on New Zealand on Saturday before Wales’ semi-final against South Africa on Sunday.
When Warren Gatland’s side arrived for their pre-game run out at the venue on Friday, players had to jump through rather large puddles to reach the sodden surface.
A giant puddle, stretched through the 22 metre area to the 10-metre line, was the worst of the problem.
There was plenty of splashing as players ran through the standing water on the surface.
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