Rugby World Cup 2015: Gatland 'clear' on team to face England

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Justin Tipuric and Sam Warburton together after Wales 30-3 win over England in 2013
Wales beat England 30-3 the last time Justin Tipuric (left) and Sam Warburton started a game together
Rugby World Cup: Wales v Uruguay
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Date: 20 September Kick-off: 14:30 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC local radio, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland says he already has a clear idea of his team to face England ahead of his side's World Cup opener against Uruguay.

Gatland has rested several key players for Sunday's match against the South Americans at the Millennium Stadium.

Wales take on hosts England at Twickenham on Saturday, 26 September.

Asked if places in the team to face England were up for grabs against Uruguay, New Zealander Gatland replied: "Not really, no."

Points difference irrelevant?

Wales have rested Alun Wyn Jones, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Biggar, Jamie Roberts and George North against Uruguay.

Warren Gatland explains Wales back-row choice for Uruguay

Gatland's side is expected to win convincingly against the Pool A minnows, with some predicting that Wales, England and Australia's hopes of progressing from the group to the quarter-finals will depend on points difference.

But Gatland says the primary aim against Uruguay is simply to win.

"I don't think our group for us is going to come down to points difference," he added.

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"We'll be endeavouring first to win the game and, after that, potentially scoring points.

"It's not disrespecting Uruguay in any way. The first priority is to win and I think we've got to put a lot of focus into these first two games."

James King in action against Italy
James King has been named in the back-row against Uruguay with Taulupe Faletau rested

The Warburton and Tipuric conundrum

One of the most eye-catching selections for the match against Uruguay is the decision to partner captain Sam Warburton with Justin Tipuric in the back row.

Both are naturally open-side flankers, so Warburton has switched to the blind-side, as he did the last time both players started together in 2013 when Wales hammered England 30-3 to seal the Six Nations title.

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"It's been widely speculated about, the quality of those two players," said Gatland.

"Personally I thought Sam Warburton was man of the match against Italy, even though he wasn't awarded it.

"That would have potentially taken a bit of pressure off us if he had got man of the match because people want to leave that debate open.

"We're in a great position to be able to pick two world-class players in that position."

Wales team to face Uruguay

Liam Williams (Scarlets); Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons); Rhys Priestland (Bath Rugby), Gareth Davies (Scarlets); Paul James (Ospreys), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing 92), Sam Warburton (Captain, Cardiff Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), James King (Ospreys).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Dominic Day (Bath Rugby), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Matthew Morgan (Bristol Rugby)