Warm send off for Wales rugby team as side heads to France for World Cup

  • Kate Lewis reports as the Wales rugby squad leave for the World Cup in France

The Wales rugby squad received a warm send off as they left for the World Cup in France on Sunday.

The players departed the Vale Resort in Pontyclun to a rousing rendition of Calon Lân from The Urdd Choir as well as cheering fans.

Wales' first game in the tournament is against Fiji at the Stade de Bordeaux on Sunday 10 September with kick off at 8pm (UK time).

They then take on Portugal, Australia and Georgia in their other group matches.

The squad is made up of 19 forwards and 14 backs with an average age of 27 years old.

The 33-man line-up includes the likes of George North, who will compete in his fourth World Cup, Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Biggar.

The players' coach was lined by cheering fans as they departed for France.

Wales centre Johnny Williams said there is much optimism amongst the squad.

"Everyone's family is here today wishing us luck and seeing us off and its all positive vibes," he told ITV Wales.

"Of course we've had a few ups and downs but we now can't wait to get our teeth stuck into it and get to Paris but ultimately get to Bordeaux."

The squad will be missing some experience including Ken Owens who was released from the World Cup squad in June after failing to recover from a back injury.

Wales suffered a heavy defeat to South Africa in their last game before the World Cup, losing 52-16 to the current champions.

The side will be hoping they can put the last year of chaos behind them with success at the World Cup.

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