Rugby World Cup Pool A: Wales can overcome injuries for Uruguay game
Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb would be misses for any international rugby side, but Wales can show their strength in depth at the Rugby World Cup without them when they take on Uruguay first in Pool A.
Coral have lengthened the odds for Warren Gatland’s side to have a successful campaign and capture the Webb Ellis Trophy to 25/1, while to get out of a group that also contains England and Australia, the Welsh are 6/5.
Wales are also overwhelmingly odds-on at 1/1000 to beat the Teros, who have qualified for their first Rugby World Cup since 2003 after beating Russia. Gatland has made changes for the Uruguay game, resting key names Jamie Roberts, Alun Wyn Jones, George North, Taulupe Faletau and Dan Biggar for tougher tests.
Sam Warburton starts at blind-side flanker with Justin Tipuric on the open-side. Liam Williams and Samson Lee are both back in the XV after injury. Rhys Priestland deputises for Biggar at fly half, while James King is selected at number eight instead of Ross Moriarty. Looking to impress most, though. will be Hallam Amos on the wing.
“It is great to have Liam and Samson back in the starting line-up,” said Wales head coach Gatland. “They have trained incredibly hard and Sunday is a great opportunity for them.
“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.”
The Teros are set for their first-ever meeting with the Welsh here, but are rank outsiders at 100/1 to cause an upset that there is no likelihood of. Unlike neighbours Argentina, there have been no signs of Uruguay improving.
Whipping boys on their last Rugby World Cup appearance a dozen years ago, football remains far more popular and their 2011 Copa America success has not translated across sports.
Coral’s top tip: A Tero thrashing is on the cards here, with Wales to win by a massive margin of 51-60 points a fantastic 4/1 shot.