Rugby World Cup 2015: George North given Wales recall for Dublin

Wales wing George North
George North has not played since 27 March because of concussion
Rugby World Cup warm-up: Ireland v Wales
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Kick-off: 14:30 BST, 29 August
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Cymru and from 14:03 BST on Radio Ulster; Scrum V highlights on BBC Two Wales and iPlayer

Wales wing George North will make his comeback from concussion against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

North, who has not played since March, returns for Wales' second World Cup warm-up game against the Irish.

Captain Sam Warburton has a slight knock and is not included, so Alun Wyn Jones leads the side with Justin Tipuric at open-side flanker.

Alex Cuthbert is on the right wing, while Exeter tight-head prop Tomas Francis will win his first cap.

Wales coach Warren Gatland said: "He just got a little knock on the shoulder, which is kind of like a pinched nerve.

Sam Warburton
Wales captain Sam Warburton will not feature against Ireland because of "a little knock on the shoulder"

"It's nothing serious. We could have played him this weekend but we're just giving him a couple more days' rest.

"We're just making sure he's 100% right."

Francis, 23, will feature alongside Gethin Jenkins and Ken Owens in the front row, with Bradley Davies partnering captain Jones in the second row.

"We're really impressed with Tom's development since he was with us in the Six Nations, the way he's trained and his conditioning," Gatland said.

"The amount of weight he's lost - about seven or eight kilograms - he's in good shape. He's still a very young, pretty inexperienced prop at this level.

"He's done incredibly well and he's still developing as a player.

Tomos Francis

"He's probably in the best shape of his life but we still think he can get better."

British and Irish Lions trio Dan Lydiate, Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau make up the back row.

Ospreys half-backs Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar continue their partnership, with Jamie Roberts and Scott Williams named in the midfield.

Leigh Halfpenny completes the backline at full-back.

North, who will win his 50th cap, suffered his fourth head injury in five months when he was knocked unconscious in Northampton's 52-30 win against Wasps in March.

But the 2013 British and Irish Lion has since passed all his cognitive tests and came through a training match in north Wales with the national squad a few days after the warm-up defeat by Ireland.

Ospreys trio Scott Baldwin, Paul James and Aaron Jarvis have been named as front-row replacements and are joined by Luke Charteris and James King.

World Cup fixtures

Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland and Hallam Amos cover the backline from the replacements' bench.

Fly-half Gareth Anscombe is the latest fitness worry, having picked up an ankle injury in training and is not included.

Prop Samson Lee (Achilles tendon) and wing or full-back Liam Williams (foot) are unlikely to be fit before the World Cup starts.

An experimental Wales side lost 35-21 to Ireland in Cardiff on 8 August.

Gatland said: "We have trained well over the past few weeks and Saturday is a chance for a lot of players to get their first taste of rugby this campaign.

"It's always a great game in Dublin and there is an important factor to this match, with the Rugby World Cup squad announced just a few days later."

Gatland will reduce the training squad to a final 31-man party on 31 August.

Wales team to play Ireland

Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon); Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), George North (Northampton Saints); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, capt), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Paul James (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Racing 92), James King (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons).

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