BORDEAUX, France (AP) — George North will become the fourth Wales player to appear at four Rugby World Cups when he takes the field for the team's first game of the tournament in France on Sunday.
He'll be taking on a familiar opponent.
North has played against Fiji in each of the World Cups he has featured in, and the Pacific Island nation is his first opponent in the 2023 edition for what is shaping up to be a huge first match in Bordeaux. Two of Wales, Fiji or Australia are expected to qualify from Pool C.
No. 8 Taulupe Faletau is fit to start for Wales and win his 101st cap after missing all three of the team's World Cup warmup games last month because of a calf injury.
Wales arrived in France with co-captains but only one of them — flanker Jac Morgan — will start against the Fijians, with Dewi Lake omitted because he hasn't proved his fitness.
Wales' Warren Gatland will become the first head coach to take charge of a match at five Rugby World Cups — four with Wales and one with Ireland in 1999.
Fiji is set to announce its team on Friday.
Wales: Liam Williams, Louis Rees Zammit, George North, Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Taulupe Faletau, Jac Morgan (captain), Aaron Wainwright, Adam Beard, Will Rowlands, Tomas Francis, Ryan Elias, Gareth Thomas. Reserves: Elliot Dee, Corey Domachowski, Dillon Lewis, Dafydd Jenkins, Tommy Reffell, Tomos Williams, Sam Costelow, Rio Dyer.
AP Rugby World Cup: https://apnews.com/hub/rugby