RWC 2015: Wales vs Uruguay - Liam Williams and Samson Lee given comeback as George North and Jamie Roberts rested

Sam Warburton captains Wales from blindside flanker with a number of first-team regulars left out of the squad

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The Independent Online

Full-back Liam Williams and prop Samson Lee will both begin comebacks after injury when Wales open their World Cup campaign against Uruguay in Cardiff on Sunday.

Williams has not played since the end of last season due to a foot problem, while his Scarlets colleague Lee has been sidelined since suffering an Achilles injury during Wales' RBS 6 Nations victory over Ireland six months ago.

Sam Warburton captains the team, but he will wear the number six shirt, with Justin Tipuric at openside flanker, and there are also opportunities in the team named by head coach Warren Gatland for wing Hallam Amos, fly-half Rhys Priestland and scrum-half Gareth Davies.

Bur star players like George North, Jamie Roberts, Dan Biggar, Gethin Jenkins, Alun-Wyn Jones and Taulupe Faletau sit out the match ahead of next week's crunch Twickenham appointment with host nation England.

 

Williams' return to full fitness is particularly timely given the World Cup-ending knee injury suffered by Leigh Halfpenny during Wales' final tournament warm-up fixture against Italy a fortnight ago.

And Gatland will hope Williams can quickly rediscover the form that made him such a key part of Wales' performances last term, when he featured primarily on the wing.

Lee, too, is pivotal to Wales' hopes of progressing from a punishing pool that also features England, Australia amd Fiji, having established a huge reputation in a short space of time for his powerful scrummaging.

Samson-Lee.jpg
Samson Lee will start for Wales against Uruguay

Priestland, meanwhile, starts his first Test since last year's autumn programme as Wales look to rack up the points before heading to Twickenham next week.

Gatland has opted for six forwards on the bench, with only Lloyd Williams and Matthew Morgan providing cover behind the scrum.

And there is a spot among the replacements for Gloucester back-row forward Ross Moriarty, who was only drafted into Wales' 31-man World Cup squad earlier this week after wing Eli Walker was released due to a hamstring injury.

Moriarty's father Paul and uncle Richard were both part of Wales' World Cup squad at the inaugural tournament 28 years ago.

Sam-Warburton.jpg
Sam Warburton will lead Wales

Gatland said: "The squad are extremely excited to kick their Rugby World Cup campaign off on Sunday.

"Playing in a World Cup, in your home country, at your home ground, is a great honour, and I'm sure the players will take that into the game.

"Uruguay will be looking to show what they are capable of, and we know we need to be clinical on Sunday.

"It is great to have Liam and Samson back in the starting line-up. They have trained incredibly hard, and Sunday is a great opportunity for them.

"It's a great opportunity for all the players, and it's an exciting time ahead."

Wales team to play Uruguay in World Cup Pool A at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday

Liam Williams (Scarlets); A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), C Allen (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Scarlets), H Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons); R Priestland (Bath), G Davies (Scarlets); P James (Ospreys), S Baldwin (Ospreys), S Lee (Scarlets), J Ball (Scarlets), L Charteris (Racing 92), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), J Tipuric (Ospreys), J King (Ospreys).

Replacements: K Owens (Scarlets), A Jarvis (Ospreys), T Francis (Exeter), D Day (Bath), D Lydiate (Ospreys), R Moriarty (Gloucester), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), M Morgan (Bristol).

PA

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