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Wales v Japan preview: TV times, team news, odds and more

Saturday, November 19, Wales v Japan, Principality Stadium, Cardiff, 2:30 pm kick-off (Live on BBC 1 from 2:00 pm)
  • Sam Warburton will captain a Wales team featuring 10 changes against Japan at Principality Stadium on Saturday
  • The experienced pairing of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies will line-up for a 46th time in the midfield
  • Liam Williams starts at full-back with Leigh Halfpenny moving to the wing
WALES will look to make it back-to-back wins when they host Japan at the Principality Stadium on Saturday (2:30pm) – so here’s everything you need to know about the game.

Wales team news
Wales have announced their team to play Japan this morning as Rob Howley looks to make some significant changes to his starting XV from last weekend’s win over Argentina.

Youngster Keelan Giles is expected to win his first cap on Saturday, probably from the bench, while Liam Williams switches to full-back with Leigh Halfpenny moving to the wing.

“We have made a change with Liam (Williams) moving to full-back and Leigh (Halfpenny) onto the wing.” revealed Howley.

“Leigh has done well at full-back but we are giving an opportunity to Liam, it’s his favorable position, Leigh has played on the wing before they have trained well there and we want to have a look at what this option gives us.”

Cory Hill, who made his debut against Australia in the opening Under Armour Series encounter against Australia, packs down alongside Alun Wyn Jones, who will win his 104th cap for Wales, in the second-row.

Cardiff Blues duo Lloyd Williams and Gareth Anscombe partner at half-back, with the latter making his first start at fly-half for Wales.

The experienced pairing of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies will line-up for a 46th time in the midfield together for their country.

There is one personnel change in the back-three with Alex Cuthbert coming into the side for George North.


Japan team news
For Japan the victory over Georgia was much-needed after the hammering they took against the Pumas.

Head coach Jamie Joseph is of course still finding his feet in his new job and he’ll hope his senior players recapture their 2015 World Cup form when they run out in Cardiff.

Shota Horie, Amanaki Mafi, Fumiaki Tanaka and Harumichi Tatekawa will be key to their hopes of an upset but on paper it looks an unlikely prospect as Howley’s men should claim a comfortable win.

That would set them up nicely for the big one against the Springboks, which will of course lead to November being viewed as either positive or negative from a Welsh standpoint. However, lose to Japan and the knives will be out.



Wales v Japan head-to-head
Played 9, Wales 8, Japan 1, draw 0

Wales v Japan odds
Head-to-head: Wales 1/40, Japan 14/1, Draw 60/1
Handicap Betting: Wales (-26) 10/11, Draw (-26) 22-1, Japan (+16) 10/11

Wales v Japan form guide
Wales: LLLLW
Japan: WLLLW

Wales v Japan prediction

The weekend kicks off down in Cardiff, where Wales will attempt to build on the good work they did against Argentina last weekend. Japan picked up a good win against Georgia last weekend but this week will be a different sort of challenge. The Welsh should win comfortably but it woul be stupid to write off the ever-improving Brave Blossoms completely.

RUCK prediction: Wales by 15

Wales v Japan referee
Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

Wales v Japan teams
Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Alex Cuthbert, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 James King, 7 Sam Warburton(c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Cory Hill, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Keelan Giles
Japan: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 6 Malgene Ilaua, 5 Samuela Anise, 4 Kyosuke Kajikawa, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Satoshi Nakatani
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Heiichiro Ito, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 21 Yuhimaru Mimura, 22 Keisuke Uchida, 23 Amanaki Lotoahea

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