TWO Newcastle Emlyn rugby players will start for Wales in the first Rugby World Cup game in France this weekend.

33-year-old scrum half Gareth Davies will start alongside 29-year-old prop Gareth Thomas.

It will be Davies’ third appearance at a Rugby World Cup, having featured in each of Wales’ last 12 games at the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cup tournaments. He will earn his 70th cap when he takes to the field on Sunday and will be joined in the half-back pairing by Dan Biggar who will also be taking part in his third World Cup.

It will be Thomas’ first World Cup appearance and will see him earn his 23rd cap.

Elsewhere in the team, Jac Morgan will captain Wales as he earns his 12th cap.

It means that the back rower will be making his World Cup debut as captain and taking the openside flanker position. He will be joined in the back row by Aaron Wainwright and Taulupe Faletau.

Head coach Warren Gatland said: “The squad has worked incredibly hard over the last few months and has been preparing well for Fiji in the last couple of weeks.

“Fiji are a good side with some great individual athletes and they play with a lot more structure now than maybe they have done traditionally.

“We’ve had some good clarity about what we want to achieve and the way we want to play on the weekend. It’s going to be an exciting contest on Sunday and one that we are relishing.

“The boys are looking sharp, there’s a great environment in this group – players working for each other, enjoying each other’s company. We’re in a good place and can’t wait to get out there and get our Rugby World Cup 2023 campaign underway.”

Wales team to face Fiji at Stade de Bordeaux (Sunday, September 10, 8pm GMT, live on ITV and S4C): 15 Liam Williams, 14 Louis Rees Zammit, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Jac Morgan (captain), 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Gareth Thomas.

Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Dillon Lewis,19 Dafydd Jenkins, 20 Tommy Refell, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Sam Costelow, 23 Rio Dyer.