Rugby World Cup 2019: Wales

World ranking: Fifth

Qualification: 2015 quarter-finalists

Best result: Third 1987

TAB odds: $10

Chances: Their Six Nations/Grand Slam success firmly established the Welsh as the team to watch in Japan. Wins over Ireland and England especially put them ahead of the All Blacks' pursuers.

Remember too, coach Warren Gatland masterminded the British & Irish Lions' series draw in New Zealand two years ago, so he is undaunted by the challenge before him.

Leading players:

Alun Wyn Jones 

One of the greatest lock forwards in Welsh rugby history, Wyn Jones has proven his credentials against the best in the world. He was outstanding for the British and Irish Lions in 2017 and you can expect him to lead from the front again in Japan. 

Justin Tipuric 

Has really developed his game the last four years, earning a Lions call-up in 2017. Tipuric has been one of the form loose-forwards in European rugby this season and he currently owns the best tackle percentage in international rugby 

George North 

The 27-year-old announced himself as a star of the future in 2011, playing a key role in Wales' semi-final run. North has scored 38 tries in 86 tests and is just as dangerous at centre as he is on the wing. Powerful, fast and intelligent, North is one to watch in Japan. 

Leigh Halfpenny 

An excellent goal kicker, Halfpenny is a dangerous attacking weapon for Wales. Be it at fullback or in the midfield, expect the 30-year-old to shine at the World Cup as Wales look for a first Webb Ellis Cup.

Squad:

Forwards: Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Rhys Carre, James Davies, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Ken Owens, Aaron Shingler, Nicky Smith, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright.

Backs: Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Dan Biggar, Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Hadleigh Parkes, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin, Liam Williams, Tomos Williams.

Pool draw (NZT)
September 23
Wales v Georgia, Toyota City, 10:15pm

September 29
Australia v Wales, Tokyo, 8:45pm (live updates)

October 9
Wales v Fiji, Oita Prefecture, 10:45pm (live updates)

October 13
Wales v Uruguay, Kumamoto City, 9:15pm

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Rugby World Cup 2019 Dictionary

The ninth Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 in Japan - the first time it has been hosted in Asia.

Everything you need to know about rugby and the World Cup...