Alun Wyn Jones Here are Wales’ opportunity takers ready to take on France in the Rugby World Cup

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Look across the Wales starting XV for their World Cup quarter-final against France and you see a split.

There are the stalwarts of the Warren Gatland era, those with more than 50 caps, who were always likely to be here.

Ken Owens at hooker, Alun Wyn Jones the captain, Justin Tipuric on the openside flank, Dan Biggar at fly-half, Jonathan Davies at outside centre, George North on one wing and Liam Williams at full-back.

Warren Gatland has fielded a team of players who have stepped up and taken their chance

You could fairly argue that all – perhaps bar Biggar, who until Gareth Anscombe ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee back in August was second choice – were etched in by Gatland for years for this tournament.

And then you look at the other eight who take the field in Oita, and you see stories of fortune, fate, and form – the opportunity takers.

Starting up front you have Wyn Jones, the Scarlet, at loosehead up first. Regarded as the best scrummaging prop in the squad now he has taken his chance as Rob Evans’ lack of ‘durability’ – as Gatland put it when he dropped him in August – let him down.

Tomas Francis might have played at the last World Cup, but there was a fair while when Samson Lee – before his Achilles gave him gip – was often preferred.

It is not unfair to say that Jake Ball would not expect to start at lock if Cory Hill were fit, or if Adam Beard had not lost his appendix on the day Wales flew out to Japan.

Josh Navidi, who was snubbed for four years between caps one and two, and Aaron Wainwright would have been doing very well to be here

Meet this astonishing constituent.

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