Veteran Taulupe Faletau has recovered from injury handing Wales a boost ahead of their tricky World Cup Pool C opener against Fiji on Sunday in Bordeaux.
The 32-year-old No 8 will win his 101st cap, but first since the Six Nations as a calf injury ruled him out of their warm-up matches.
Jac Morgan, who will captain the side, and Aaron Wainwright join Faletau in the back row.
However, Morgan’s co-captain Dewi Lake does not feature in the matchday 23. Lake suffered a knee injury during Wales’s defeat to England at Twickenham last month.
The 24-year-old hooker declared himself fit earlier in the week but head coach Warren Gatland said the game came too quick to risk him.
“The medical team has done a fantastic job getting Dewi back to full fitness,” said Gatland.
“He has not had as much training under his belt as the other hookers since he picked up that knock to his knee, so Ryan Elias and Elliot Dee are selected for us for this game.”
Wales famously lost to Fiji in the 2007 World Cup in France to exit at the pool stage, a result that ushered in Gatland for his first spell in charge.
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 8, 2023
The New Zealander sensationally returned to the job, replacing the sacked Wayne Pivac late last year, but results have been mixed.
Fiji will come in on the back of a historic win over England and with Australia and Georgia also in their pool a loss for either side on Sunday would leave them with much to do to reach the quarter-finals.
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