Dewi Lake Leads Wales as Captain – Gatland Reveals Lineup for Portugal Clash

Dewi Lake Leads Wales as Captain – Gatland Reveals Lineup for Portugal Clash

Wales’ head coach, Warren Gatland, has unveiled his lineup for the upcoming clash against Portugal, set to take place at Stade de Nice on Saturday, September 16. The notable return of Dewi Lake to the XV sees him taking on the role of captain.

Here’s the complete lineup:

  1. Nicky Smith
  2. Dewi Lake (c)
  3. Dillon Lewis
  4. Christ Tshiunza
  5. Dafydd Jenkins
  6. Dan Lydiate
  7. Tommy Reffell
  8. Taulupe Faletau
  9. Tomos Williams
  10. Gareth Anscombe
  11. Rio Dyer
  12. Johnny Williams
  13. Mason Grady
  14. Louis Rees-Zammit
  15. Leigh Halfpenny


  1. Ryan Elias
  2. Corey Domachowski
  3. Tomas Francis
  4. Adam Beard
  5. Taine Basham
  6. Gareth Davies
  7. Sam Costelow
  8. Josh Adams

Head coach Warren Gatland has executed a substantial 13 changes to the starting XV following Wales’ hard-fought six-point victory over Fiji. Remarkably, only Taulupe Faletau and Louis Rees-Zammit maintain their positions in the starting lineup, emphasizing the squad’s adaptability and depth. Notably, four players in the starting XV will be making their Rugby World Cup debut.

Dewi Lake, who assumes the captain’s armband for the second time in his career, previously led Wales against England at Twickenham during the RWC 2023 warm-up test. This marks only his third start for the national team, with seven of his past nine caps earned coming off the bench.

Leigh Halfpenny, a seasoned campaigner, adds experience to the lineup, as he prepares for his third Rugby World Cup appearance, having previously featured in 2011 and 2019. Despite limited recent international play, with just 15 appearances for Wales since the start of 2020 and 165 minutes across three 2023 outings, Halfpenny’s inclusion is noteworthy. At the age of 34 years, eight months, and 26 days, he becomes the oldest backline player to represent Wales in a Rugby World Cup match, surpassing Shane Williams’ record set against the Wallabies in Auckland.

This match marks a reunion for Gareth Anscombe and Tomos Williams, who last started together at scrum-half and fly-half on November 26, 2022, against Australia. Their partnership on the field is a testament to their chemistry and tactical prowess, with this being only their fifth appearance together in these positions.

Tomos Williams is set to earn his 50th test cap for Wales, a significant milestone in his career. He made his debut against South Africa in 2018, becoming the seventh Welsh scrum-half to reach this impressive achievement.

Additionally, this match holds historical significance as Exeter Chiefs teammates Christ Tshiunza and Dafydd Jenkins make their first test start together in the second row for Wales. Tshiunza, in particular, is making his debut test start in the second row, marking a significant moment in his rugby journey.

Mark Z

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