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Wales switch Adams to centre for Fiji Test

Josh Adams will start at centre and teenage loose forward Christ Tshiunza is on the replacements’ bench in Wales’ team to face Fiji in their last Test before playing the Wallabies.

British & Irish Lions winger Adams starts a first Test in the midfield, with coach Wayne Pivac keen to see if he can provide cover in that position with the 2023 Rugby World Cup in mind.

The Welsh will be out to earn a convincing win on Sunday before facing Australia the following Saturday at the Principality Stadium.

“The exciting one is Josh Adams getting an opportunity (at centre),” Pivac said on Wednesday. “That’s really looking at the future.

“When you have to pick a World Cup squad of 33, you’ve got to have players that can play in more than one position and we’ve been wanting to do it for a while, so we’ll see how Josh goes in the midfield.”

Louis Rees-Zammit switches to the left wing and Alex Cuthbert comes in on the right for his first cap in four years.

Liam Williams returns to the starting line-up at fullback, while Kieran Hardy replaces Tomos Williams in a halfback pairing with Dan Biggar.

“The introduction of Alex Cuthbert, along with Louis Rees-Zammit, is an eye on the speed that the Fijians will bring and we need to be able to match that,” Pivac said.

In the only change in the pack, Thomas Young moves to flanker and Taine Basham switches to number eight in place of the injured Aaron Wainwright.

“In terms of the forwards we don’t have a lot of options with injuries and unavailability,” Pivac said.

There will be much interest in the possible debut for Tshiunza, who Pivac wants to develop at both lock and loose forward.

“He’s come in, he’s trained well. We’re looking at him as a player, in the future, who can hopefully cover two positions, in the second row and at six.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing him out there. He’ll be full of energy, he’s very excited about the opportunity and he’s one for the future.”

Team: 15-Liam Williams, 14-Alex Cuthbert, 13-Josh Adams, 12-Johnny Williams, 11-Louis Rees-Zammit, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Kieran Hardy, 8-Taine Basham, 7-Thomas Young, 6-Ellis Jenkins (captain), 5-Adam Beard, 4-Will Rowlands, 3-Tomas Francis, 2-Ryan Elias, 1-Rhys Carre

Replacements: 16-Bradley Roberts, 17-Gareth Thomas, 18-WillGriff John, 19-Christ Tshiunza, 20-Seb Davies, 21-Tomos Williams, 22-Callum Sheedy, 23-Nick Tompkins.

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