Wales vs Portugal LIVE: Rugby World Cup team news and latest updates

Christ Tshiunza (L) and Dafydd Jenkins warm up during the Wales training session

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Wales will look to continue their winning start to the Rugby World Cup when they take on Portugal at the Stade de Nice this afternoon.

Dan Biggar starred for Warren Gatland’s side in their opening clash against Fiji. He kicked 12 points before hobbling off the pitch in the second half with a minor knock. Fiji fought back late on but Wales’ defensive stability ensured they held on for a thrilling 32-26 win. Gatland has made 13 changes to today’s starting line-up with wing Louis Rees-Zammit and number eight Taulupe Faletau retaining their spots.

This encounter will be Portugal’s first match of the tournament on just their second appearance at the World Cup following an exit at the pool stage in 2007. Thirteen players in the starting team play their club rugby in France, but hooker Mike Tadjer is the only player who plays in the Top 14, for Perpignan.

Follow all the action from the Stade de Nice below. Get all the Rugby World Cup odds here and the latest tips and odds for Wales vs Portugal here.


Wales vs Portugal team news

Warren Gatland has made 13 changes to the starting line-up for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup Pool C encounter against Portugal in Nice. Gatland retains wing Louis Rees-Zammit and number eight Taulupe Faletau from the team that overcame Fiji in a ferocious contest last weekend.

Co-captain Dewi Lake leads Wales after recovering from a knee injury, while scrum-half Tomos Williams wins his 50th cap and there are first World Cup starts for the likes of centre Mason Grady and lock Christ Tshiunza. This is the match game to rest key members of the starting XV and give the more fringe players in the squad time on the pitch.

Portugal, meanwhile, are boosted ahead of their first World Cup match for 16 years by the return to fitness of wing Raffaele Storti after injury.

Samoa 6-7 Chile

Samoa took the early lead with a penalty kick easily dispatched between the sticks but it hasn’t taken long for Chile to respond. Their forwards push Samoa onto the back foot and repeatedly dive for the line.

Prop Matias Dittus barges his way through for the first try of the day and the conversion is booted over the crossbar.

Just before the 10 minute mark, Samoan centre Ulupano Junior Seuteni is sent to the sin bin for a poor challenge but the Pacific Islanders have kicked a second penalty over as well.

This will be a close one.

Gareth Anscombe reveals his relief at avoiding an unwanted World Cup double

Gareth Anscombe has revealed how he feared his Rugby World Cup hopes might have been destroyed by injury for a second successive tournament.

The Wales fly-half missed Japan 2019 after suffering an horrific knee injury during a World Cup warm-up game against England that sidelined him for two years.

Anscombe fought back to put himself on the international stage once more – then injury struck again during Wales’ World Cup training camp in Turkey earlier this summer.

Gareth Anscombe reveals his relief at avoiding an unwanted World Cup double

New Zealand-born back was hurt during a World Cup training camp.

Samoa vs Chile

The first Rugby World Cup game of the day is being played in Bordeaux as Samoa take on Chile in Pool D. The match has just kicked off and it is Samoa’s first outing in the tournament after they sat out the first week’s fixtures.

Wales not taking Portugal lightly after hosts scared by Uruguay

Mike Forshaw says Wales will reference Uruguay’s odds-defying display against France when they tackle Rugby World Cup minnows Portugal on Saturday.

Uruguay, despite being ranked 17th in the world, produced an outstanding performance before going down to a 27-12 defeat. They denied Les Bleus a bonus point and will undoubtedly provide inspiration for fellow World Cup underdogs such as Portugal, Chile and Namibia.

Wales are expected to brush aside Patrice Lagisquet’s team in the countries’ first meeting for 29 years.

“We will reference the French game. It is very important we get messages from that,” Wales assistant coach and defence specialist Forshaw said. “We have to do our basics well and give them the respect they deserve, but we want to impose ourselves on this team.

“We know every game is going to be tough, and nothing changes in our preparation. If you look at their backs they have got quite a few sevens players, they play that coast-to-coast game, so we will have to cut that supply off with our defence and our urgency to take space from them.

“They have similar threats to the Fijians, so we have to be right on it.”

Wales prepare for their next Rugby World Cup challenge

Gareth Anscombe thankful for Rugby World Cup chance

Wales flyhalf Gareth Anscombe missed the 2019 Rugby World Cup though injury and almost suffered the same fate again four years on, but will start in Saturday’s Pool C fixture against Portugal having missed all his side’s warm-up games.

The New Zealand-born number 10, who can also play at fullback, injured his knee weeks before the tournament in Japan. This time round it was his thumb that almost provided more World Cup misery.

“I went to chop George (North) and just got his knee flush on the thumb,” Anscombe said of the injury picked up at the team’s training camp in Turkey. “It didn’t look great at the start and the initial prognosis was it was probably going to need surgery.

“But thankfully the scans came back better than first thought and it looked like there would be a chance of getting back right. I had to be in a cast for a month which was difficult but at least I could still run.”

Anscombe admits to doubts at the time, but says he draws inspiration from others who have beaten the clock to be fit for the tournament in France.

“It’s hard to look too far ahead when you’re going through those moments. There are so many what ifs, buts and maybes,” he said. “I had a night there in Turkey where I thought I was done again and that was devastating. You have some dark thoughts.

“But you look at the likes of (South Africa captain Siya) Kolisi, who was out for a long time and was superb in his first game back. It can be done. I know there is always a bit of ring rust.”

Gareth Anscombe missed the 2019 World Cup because of injury (David Davies/PA)

Portugal team news before Wales clash

Portugal were forced into a late change to their team for this Rugby World Cup Pool C fixture against Wales as lock Martim Belo replaces Jose Madeira in the second row.

No reason was given by team officials for the switch, with Thibault De Freitas added to the bench in the place of Belo for the fixture in Nice.

Portugal will be in action for the first time at the tournament in what is a second World Cup appearance after 2007. Wales beat Fiji 32-26 in their opener on Sunday.

Updated Portugal team: 15-Nuno Sousa Guedes, 14-Vincent Pinto, 13-Jose Lima, 12-Tomas Appleton (captain), 11-Rodrigo Marta, 10-Jeronimo Portela, 9-Samuel Marques, 8-Rafael Simoes, 7-Nicolas Martins, 6-Joao Granate, 5-Steevy Cerqueira, 4-Jose Madeira, 3-Anthony Alves, 2-Mike Tadjer, 1-Francisco Fernandes.

Replacements: 16-David Costa, 17-Lionel Campergue, 18-Diogo Hasse Ferreira, 19-Martim Belo, 20-David Wallis, 21-Pedro Lucas, 22-Joris Moura, 23-Raffaele Storti.

New Zealand must tighten up on discipline, warns Foster

All Blacks coach Ian Foster was delighted with New Zealand’s first win of the World Cup on Friday but, such are the standards his team are held to, there were as many questions about discipline as tries after the 71-3 rout of Namibia.

Coming off successive defeats to South Africa and France in which the All Blacks forwards were overpowered at times, Foster was first and foremost happy with the platform the pack laid against a tough Namibia eight.

“We went out and clearly tried to establish ourselves up front, particularly,” Foster said.

“I thought we got that dominance pretty early, which was the key to the game and enabled us to pick and choose how we wanted to play after that.

“Obviously we’re delighted with the result and with the performance so that’s a step forward.”

Foster was rewarded for his selection by a fine performance from scrumhalf Cam Roigard, who scored two tries and made another on his first test start.

“He played really well, took his opportunities, it’s one thing to have good go-forward ball but it’s another to make good decisions,” the coach said.

Cam Roigard scored twice in the first six minutes to get the ball rolling for the All Blacks

All Blacks bounce back from opening defeat with 11-try mauling of Namibia

New Zealand overcame Namibia 71-3 in Toulouse with a ruthless display of attacking to get off the mark in Pool A of the Rugby World Cup.

The All Blacks began their tournament with a defeat to hosts France in Paris but had no such trouble in their second outing as Cam Roigard and Cam McKenzie each scored two tries to help Ian Foster’s side collect a bonus point and move second in the pool.

Namibia remain without a victory in 23 attempts at the World Cup going back to 1999 and never looked strong enough to pose problems for New Zealand – for whom Ethan de Groot was red carded in the final minutes – in a game played largely in torrential rain.

Full report:

All Blacks bounce back from opening defeat with 11-try mauling of Namibia

New Zealand 71-3 Namibia: Cam Roigard and Cam McKenzie each scored two tries to help Ian Foster’s side to a big win in Toulouse.

Rugby World Cup fixtures and results

A full look at the fixtures coming up and the results so far the 2023 Rugby World Cup:

Rugby World Cup 2023 fixtures and full match schedule

Every game of the Rugby World Cup after hosts France kicked off the tournament against favourites New Zealand in Paris

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