Jac Morgan will captain Wales on Saturday in what is effectively the first of three World Cup leadership auditions.

The 23-year-old Ospreys flanker takes charge for Wales’ opening tournament warm-up game against England in Cardiff.

Wales then go to Twickenham seven days later before hosting reigning world champions South Africa – and there is likely to be a different skipper each time as head coach Warren Gatland considers his options.

Hooker Dewi Lake, fly-half Dan Biggar, plus locks Adam Beard and Will Rowlands are also among realistic captaincy candidates.

Should Morgan or 24-year-old hooker Lake be handed the World Cup reins, it would echo Gatland appointing Sam Warburton as skipper for the 2011 tournament, when he was just 22.

“We’ve named Jac as captain for this match, and it is a great honour for him to be leading his country,” Gatland said.

“We will be looking at probably having a different captain for each of the matches as we give as many as possible in the squad an opportunity to impress, but also mindful about potential combinations as we get closer to naming the World Cup squad.”

Gatland is set to name his final 33-strong World Cup squad later this month, and there are early chances in the spotlight for an uncapped trio of Max Llewellyn, Corey Domachowski and Keiron Assiratti, who all start against England.

And former England prop Henry Thomas, who qualifies for Wales through his father and has been able to switch countries under new World Rugby regulations, is among the replacements along with fellow uncapped forward Taine Plumtree.

Since the start of last year, players can switch to their country of birth – or their parents’ or grandparents’ birth – provided a minimum period of three years has elapsed since they were last selected for an adopted country.

Thomas, who won the last of his seven England caps against New Zealand in 2014, follows players like Jean Kleyn (Ireland to South Africa), Charles Piutau (New Zealand to Tonga) and Byron McGuigan (Scotland in Namibia).

Full-back Leigh Halfpenny, meanwhile, will win his 100th cap as Wales step up their World Cup preparations after tough training camps in Switzerland and Turkey.

Gatland added: “I have been really pleased with the players’ effort and commitment in Turkey, Switzerland and the mini camps in Wales, but now it is about putting what we’ve been training into practice.

“There is some great competition among the squad in all positions, and we’ve selected a team this week with a few debutants because we want to give them the opportunity to see what they can do.

“There is a lot to play for over the next three matches, and everyone is still in contention to make that final squad for France.”

Centre Llewellyn, who is the son of former Wales lock Gareth Llewellyn, will partner George North in midfield, with Cardiff props Domachowski and Assiratti also gaining immediate chances to shine.

Swansea-born Plumtree, meanwhile, goes straight into the matchday 23 after linking up with the Wales squad ahead of last month’s trip to Switzerland.

He has played Super Rugby in New Zealand and will be part of the Scarlets set-up next season.

For Halfpenny, Saturday’s game sees him reach three figures almost 15 years after he made his Wales debut as a teenager against South Africa.

He will become the ninth Wales player to clock up a century, and only the fifth back, joining North, Biggar, Stephen Jones and Gareth Thomas.

Gatland said: “I would like to make a special mention for Leigh Halfpenny, who will win his 100th cap for Wales on Saturday.

“Reaching this milestone is an incredible achievement and testament to the player and person Leigh is. I know it will be a very special day for him and all his family.”

Mike Phillips has urged Wales to inspire their fans at what he considers the most important World Cup in the nation’s rugby history.

The Welsh game has spent 2023 in crisis off the field due to a sexism and misogyny scandal at the Welsh Rugby Union and in dire straits on it, with Warren Gatland struggling to transform the team’s fortunes during his second spell in charge.

Wales, World Cup semi-finalists in Japan four years ago, have fallen to ninth in the global rankings, with supporters expecting Gatland’s side to make a major impact at the tournament in France next month very much in the minority.

“It’s more important this time,” former scrum-half Phillips said of Wales’ forthcoming World Cup campaign.

“The public needs it. It seems that it has just been a constant negative about Welsh rugby over the last 18 months. The public needs some inspiration.

“We all want to support success, just as with the football team reaching the World Cup.

“The Welsh people want to be inspired and there’s nothing like the national team to galvanise the game, all the way down to the grassroots.

“It would be nice to have people excited about what’s happening on the pitch.”

Wales play two warm-up games against England – the first in Cardiff on Saturday – and another at home to South Africa before embarking on their World Cup adventure.

British and Irish Lions trio Alun Wyn Jones – Test rugby’s most capped player – Justin Tipuric and Rhys Webb have all left the international scene in recent months and there will be several new faces in France.

“There’s no pressure on these players but my only concern is that they’re not winning often, either for club or country,” said Phillips, who won 94 caps for Wales and another five for the Lions.

“Winning in sport is tough, it doesn’t just happen. Sometimes you need to grind it out. A few years ago that’s what they were doing.

“Gatland will have them fit but the game has moved on from when he was first in charge. There’s far more kicking now so the tactics need to be spot on, strong defence and discipline is key because games turn on a moment.

“You can’t keep picking the same guys forever. Ideally you would have a core group with 30 or 40 caps but we seem to have players either with lots or none.”

Phillips starred as Wales reached the last four of the 2011 World Cup, losing agonisingly 9-8 to France after skipper Sam Warburton had been sent off in the opening quarter.

He said: “The youngsters have to learn to become leaders, that’s how they will grow. Perhaps it’s good to throw them in the deep end.

“It feels similar to 2011 when Wales brought in a load of new young players like George North, Jonathan Davies, Rhys Priestland, Taulupe Faletau and Sam Warburton.

“They came back from the World Cup experience and won a Grand Slam, another title, and all went with the Lions in 2013.

“We may not know a lot about these lads now but they can be household names by the time they return.”

Wales meet Fiji – who famously knocked them out the last time the World Cup was held in France 16 years ago – in a crunch Bordeaux opener on September 10 before further group games against Portugal, Australia and Georgia.

England or Argentina are potential quarter-final opponents.

“Fiji is a monumental game,” said Phillips. “Getting that first win gives you momentum and takes a bit of pressure off.

“But Fiji are very physical and athletically they are absolute monsters. They are strong and powerful and seem to have a more tactical game now with their driving maul.

“Their scrum is pretty solid, they play in that Super competition (Super Rugby Pacific franchise Fijian Drua provided 19 of the most recent national squad), and they are going to be tough to break down.”

:: Mike Phillips was speaking at S4C’s 2023 Rugby World Cup launch.

Ospreys flanker Jac Morgan will captain Wales in Saturday’s opening World Cup warm-up clash against England at the Principality Stadium.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has yet to announce his World Cup skipper, though, and says each of the preparation games against England home and away, plus South Africa in Cardiff, could have a different player at the helm.

Centre Max Llewellyn, plus props Corey Domachowski and Keiron Assiratti will make their Test debuts on Saturday.

And former England prop Henry Thomas, who qualifies for Wales through his father and has been able to switch countries under new World Rugby regulations, is among the replacements along with fellow uncapped forward Taine Plumtree.

Full-back Leigh Halfpenny, meanwhile, will win his 100th cap as Wales step up their World Cup preparations.

Former Wales captain and coach Clive Rowlands has died at the age of 85, the Welsh Rugby Union has announced

Rowlands, who played 14 times for Wales as scrum-half, also managed the British and Irish Lions and served as president of the WRU.

He captained his country on each of his international appearances and led the team as they shared the 1964 Five Nations title with Scotland.

As coach he guided the team to a first Grand Slam in 19 years in 1971, after retiring from playing at the age of 29.

Jamaica's Sunshine Girls produced another strong showing to make it two-from-two at the Vitality Netball World Cup when they defeated Wales 75-40 in another lopsided affair in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday.

While it was not the most convincing performance to follow up their record 105-25 opening win over Sri Lanka, the number four-ranked Jamaicans did enough to secure their sixth win over the ninth-ranked Wales in what was their seventh meeting.

Captain and ace shooter Jhaniele Fowler again led from the front scoring 39 goals from 41, with Romelda Aiken-George, who took over second half duties, sinking 19 goals from her 21 attempts. Goal attacks Shanice Beckford and Rebekah Robinson contributed five and 12 goals from six and 14 attempts respectively.

With the win, the Jamaicans, who are aiming to break a lengthy medal drought dating back to 2007 when the country last won one of its three World Cup bronze medals, moved up to four points and are assured of one of three spots to the next round.

Head coach Connie Francis opted for a completely different starting seven on this occasion with Shamera Sterling, Latanya Wilson and Jodi-Ann Ward in defence. Nicole Dixon-Rochester started centre court, as Khadijah Williams and Shanice Beckford occupied the wing attack and goal attack positions behind big shooter Fowler.

Jamaica forced three turnovers off Wales' centre pass and, as such, rushed into a five-goal lead before the opponents responded. Despite Wales finding an early rhythm of their own to gradually close the gap at 9-6, the Sunshine Girls accelerated late on to end the quarter with a 12-goal lead at 23-11.

The Sunshine Girls' tempo in the early exchanges of the second quarter was a stark contrast to what it was in the first, but when they eventually got going –particularly at the defensive end where Sterling and company had a number of deflections and interceptions –it brought Fowler's accuracy into play, as they went on to outscore Wales 21-12 for a 44-23 half-time lead.

However, Francis and her team were left with much to figure out, as they struggled to maintain that tempo with their usual speed and flair dropping significantly after combination changes in the second half of the encounter.

In fact, they only mustered 31 goals across the last two quarters which is fairly low by their standards, especially coming off a record high performance against Sri Lanka.

Though they scored high at 90 percent, the Sunshine Girls conceded 16 turnovers and that remains a cause for concern for Fowler, heading into a much tougher contest against the number five-ranked host South Africa at 11:00am Jamaica time, on Sunday.

“I think the entire team played well, the fact that we had changes going throughout the quarters and when everyone went in the just slot in and did their part which is really good. But yeah, we have to make sure that we limit our turnovers and also tighten up on some of our contacts,” Fowler said in a post-game interview.

Meanwhile, Sterling, who was named player of the game, said they always expected a tougher contest against Wales.

“Coming off the win against Sri Lanka and then coming to play Wales, which is a more structured and organised team, we know it was going to be more competitive and we were prepared for that. So, it was just a matter of trying to tweak and fix some of the little things that we need to do,” Sterling noted.

Wales are confident Taulupe Faletau will recover from injury in time for the World Cup, even though the 100-times capped back-rower may not play before the tournament.

Faletau stayed at home to nurse a calf complaint as Warren Gatland’s squad headed for a pre-World Cup training camp in Turkey.

The Cardiff number eight reached a century of caps against France in March and remains a vital component of the Wales side at the age of 32.

But the British and Irish Lion may not be risked ahead of September’s World Cup in France in two warm-up games with England and one against South Africa next month.

“He’s coming back, and in his rehab programme he’s going really well,” said Wales forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys, speaking from the squad’s current base in Antalya.

“So it’s just a question of do you drag him out here to do some stuff, or can he do it back home and spend a lot more time with his family?

“The decision was made that he can do the same rehab process back home. It’s looking positive for him.”

Asked if playing no part in the August games would deny Faletau – who missed the 2019 World Cup in Japan through injury – a place in the squad, Humphreys said: “If he doesn’t feature it’s not going to necessarily rule him out.

“I’m not sure if he will play (in the warm-up games). Hopefully he will, but I don’t think it’s something we’ll massively push if he’s not 100 per cent.

“The rehab is going well so we’re very hopeful he will be available for World Cup selection.”

The uncapped Taine Plumtree has emerged as a World Cup back-row option after confirming his move from New Zealand to Wales.

Plumtree, the 23-year-old son of former All Blacks assistant coach John, was born in Swansea when his father was working in Wales and the New Zealand Under-20 international will play for the Scarlets next season.

“He’s a genuine contender and hopefully we’ll see him in these next three games,” Humphreys said.

“We haven’t brought him in just to gain experience. We’ve brought him in because we feel he can add something to us.

“He’s a six, he’s a big man, and he’s very athletic as you’d expect from someone coming from New Zealand. He’s got a very good rugby sense.

“We are not blessed with people of that stature in that position. We looked at him, we liked what we saw, and he was keen to come over.

“He came off the plane jet-lagged from New Zealand, came to Switzerland, and the training was brutal over there. His first couple of sessions was an eye-opener but we’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen. ”

Temperatures have exceeded over 40 degrees Celsius since Wales arrived in southern Turkey.

They will spend a few more days there before returning home to prepare for their first World Cup warm-up game against England in Cardiff on August 5.

Humphreys said: “It was really hot when we first got here and a lot of humidity.

“Then we saw the temperature was dropping but the humidity went up. I’m not sure which one I prefer.

“It’s incredibly tough training in over 40 degrees but it’s exactly why we came here.

“The World Cup starts in six weeks and it’s an opportunity for players here to put their hands up and for us to find a way forward.”

Wales must trim their current 48-man squad down to 33 for the World Cup, with their opening game against Fiji in Bordeaux on September 10.

Rhiannon Roberts wants Wales to embrace “the show” as part of the United States’ Women’s World Cup send-off in California.

Wales have made a 5,000-mile trip to take on the reigning World Cup holders and four-time champions in what will be a colourful occasion at San Jose’s PayPal Park.

“We’re looking forward to the show and the way that they’re going to deliver everything,” Wales defender Roberts said ahead of Sunday’s meeting with the world’s number one ranked side.

“But we’re also looking forward to testing ourselves against the best in the world.

“If you play better teams you’re going to get better yourselves and, because we’re in the top league of the Nations League, we’ll be playing the best there as well. Sunday is a good place to start.”

Wales have made great strides over recent years and narrowly missed out on making a first major tournament appearance at the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Gemma Grainger’s side have regrouped after losing a World Cup play-off final to Switzerland to a last-minute goal and return to competitive action in September, with Denmark, Iceland and Germany for Nations League company.

Roberts said: “We don’t see ourselves as the underdogs anymore. We’ve known for years that we can compete against the big nations.

“Yes, it’s taken a little bit of time, but we’ve always had that belief we can do well against big nations. This is another learning curve for us before our Nations League matches.”

Tottenham midfielder Angharad James will lead Wales in the absence of Chelsea’s Sophie Ingle, who is suspended after being sent off in the April draw with Portugal.

But Wales expect to have Jess Fishlock, their most capped player, available even though the 36-year-old midfielder is set to play for her American club OL Reign in Florida just 45 hours before the California clash.

“She’ll probably run off the plane to play,” said Roberts.

“That’s something Jess would do. She’d rock up and say she’s good to play.”

Roberts’ five-year spell at Liverpool came to an end this summer and the 32-year-old will play for Spanish club Real Betis next season.

She said: “I was ready to leave Liverpool and I did have offers to stay in the UK.

“But I fancied a new challenge and my husband was managing in Gibraltar.

“So that’s why I was looking at clubs in Spain, especially the southern side of Spain. He’s come home now so that’s fun!

“Betis is a massive club and Seville is a beautiful city. It’s a different culture and a different language, one I’m really looking forward to learning.”

Biarritz have confirmed the signing of former Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb.

Webb, who announced his retirement from international rugby in May, has agreed terms until 2025.

He is the latest recruit for a club that finished 11th in the French second division last season, joining players such as England centre Jonathan Joseph and France prop Mohamed Haouas.

It will be 34-year-old Webb’s second playing stint in France, having featured for Toulon between 2018 and 2020.

He won 40 Wales caps and was recalled to the national set-up by head coach Warren Gatland during last season’s Guinness Six Nations.

But Webb then decided to step away from the Test arena after being named in Wales’ preliminary World Cup training squad, following his fellow former Ospreys colleagues Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric.

Warren Gatland has called up uncapped back-row forward Taine Plumtree to Wales’ World Cup training squad for a two-week camp in Switzerland.

Plumtree is part of a group that has travelled to Fiesch in the Swiss Alps, the Welsh Rugby Union said.

The 23-year-old was born in Swansea and is the son of former Ireland, Japan and New Zealand assistant coach John Plumtree.

A New Zealand Under-20 international, he has played Super Rugby for the Auckland-based Blues and will link up with the Scarlets next season.

Wales head coach Gatland has seen his back-row options hit by Justin Tipuric retiring from Test rugby and Josh Macleod suffering a shoulder injury.

And Plumtree now has a golden opportunity to showcase World Cup credentials ahead of Gatland announcing his final 33-strong squad next month.

Wales captain Ken Owens has been ruled out of their World Cup training squad due to injury.

The hooker has been released from the squad with a back injury along with Scarlets team-mate Josh Macleod who has a shoulder problem.

Cardiff’s Will Davies-King has also been ruled out with a foot injury, while Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and Rhys Webb have all retired since the preliminary squad was released last month.

Ospreys hooker Sam Parry has been called up ahead of the World Cup, where Wales’ campaign gets under way against Fiji on September 10 followed by games against Australia and Georgia.

Head coach Warren Gatland said: “We’ve been really pleased with the players’ attitude and commitment throughout the first few weeks of our mini camps.

“The group has worked really hard and there have been a few curve balls from us in terms of testing them mentally and physically as people may have seen in some of our videos.

“Unfortunately we’re having to release Ken, Josh and Will due to injury which is really disappointing, but all three are hoping to be available later in the year should we need an injury replacement at any point.

“Ken has a niggle in his back which he needs some time out to sort. Josh got the injury on club duty – we were hoping to be able to manage it but specialist assessment showed that wasn’t possible.

“Will picked up the foot injury in training with us which we were managing but then he got re-injured so has been released.”

Chris Mepham insists the Wales squad are “100 per cent” behind embattled manager Rob Page.

Wales’ terrible run of results has piled the pressure on Page just nine months after he signed a four-year contract as national team manager.

Page has taken Wales to two major tournaments – the delayed Euro 2020 finals and the 2022 World Cup – but a run of one win in 12 games has left serious question marks over whether he is the man to lead the country in the post Gareth Bale-era.

Many Wales fans on social media have made it clear they want managerial change now, but Bournemouth defender Mepham says Page has the full backing of the squad.

Asked if the players were fully behind Page after Monday’s 2-0 European Championship qualifying defeat in Turkey, Mepham replied: “100 per cent. He’s someone I really admire.

“He brought me into the Wales set-up in the first place and I’ll make sure I give everything I can for him.

“On the flip side, it is a results business, but we’ve also played a lot of tough teams – Belgium twice and Netherlands twice in this run – and we’re mixing it with the very best.

“We know we need to do better and we’re definitely be looking at ways to do that. We believe we can turn it around.”

Successive defeats to Armenia and Turkey have left Wales’ hopes of automatic qualification for Euro 2024 hanging by a thread.

Wales now trail Group D leaders Turkey by five points at the halfway stage of their campaign, while Armenia and group favourites Croatia are also above them with games in hand.

Mepham said: “I think it’s a free hit for us now. We’re five points behind Turkey and the onus on us now is to win games.

“In a weird way, the pressure is off a little bit because there is that gap.

“We’ve got to make sure in the next camp that we go full guns blazing and get a result to close that gap.”

Wales return to Euro 2024 qualifying action in Latvia on September 11 before hosting Croatia the following month.

They finishing with a November double-header away to Armenia and at home to Turkey.

Even if Wales do not finish in the top two, there is a strong chance they will contest the play-offs in the hope of qualifying for the finals in Germany next summer.

Page said Wales must improve their discipline after red cards for Kieffer Moore and Joe Morrell saw them reduced to 10 men against Armenia and Turkey.

But Mepham insists there is no overall disciplinary issue, saying: “The gaffer drives getting stuck in, putting your body on the line and getting into tackles.

“But we’re experienced professional footballers and we know what’s worth going into and what’s not.

“I think Kieffer’s red card the other day was harsh, but in big moments you can’t put the team at risk by losing a man.

“Certainly having 11 men makes the game a lot easier.”

Rob Page says Wales must improve their discipline against opponents “good at the dark arts” of football.

Wales were reduced to 10 men for the second successive game as Joe Morrell was sent off in Monday’s 2-0 European Championship qualifying defeat to Turkey.

Morrell’s first-half dismissal in Samsun for a studs-up challenge on Ferdi Kadioglu came just a few days after Kieffer Moore was sent off for kicking Armenia goalkeeper Ognjen Chancharevich.

Losing players to red cards has become a recurring theme for Wales who had goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey sent off against Iran at the World Cup in November and Ethan Ampadu and Harry Wilson banished at the delayed Euro 2020 finals two years ago.

“We should be disciplined enough to keep 11 players on the pitch,” manager Page said.

“Kieffer’s fallen for it on Friday, the keeper knew exactly what he was doing. It’s the softest red card, but you lift your foot and you open yourself up for a red card.

“Joe is the same. He has not got it in him to hurt somebody, but you lift your foot and you’re asking the question.

“We frustrated Turkey and I told the players I was proud of them, but we shouldn’t have to put in a shift like that with 10 men.

“We’ve got to learn from it because these teams are good at the dark arts and we’ve got to know not to retaliate.”

Wales’ Samsun setback has left them with a mountain to climb to claim a top-two qualifying spot from Group D.

They have dropped to fourth and are five points off leaders Turkey, while Armenia and Croatia are also above Wales with games in hand.

“We’ve seen Armenia beat Latvia in the 91st minute (on Monday),” said Page.

“Both teams are capable of picking points up. There’s loads of points to play for and we have got to have that mentality where we have got to win every game now.

“To give ourselves a chance, that has got to be the mentality.”

Wales are almost certainly guaranteed a play-off place and qualifying for Germany next summer through that particular route should they not finish in the top two.

Midfielder Ampadu told S4C: “We have to pick ourselves up for the remaining group games.

“Lucky there’s still games to play and while you have a chance there’s still every hope.

“Every now and then your confidence can take a knock, but the belief is still there that we can go (to Euro 2024).

“This has not been our best camp but roll on September to put it right.”

Wales resume their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign away to bottom-placed Latvia on September 11.

They host Croatia in Cardiff in October before finishing with a November double-header away to Armenia and at home to Turkey.

Rob Page has defended Wales’ dismal record over the past 12 months by insisting his side are a team in transition.

Page signed a four-year contract in September but has come under increasing pressure after a dreadful run of one win in 11 games since qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

Wales fans’ frustration came to a head in Friday’s shock 4-2 defeat to Armenia, opponents ranked 97th in the world, as hopes of qualifying for next summer’s Euro 2024 finals in Germany were seriously damaged.

“We had a group meeting (on Saturday) and addressed what needed to be said,” Page said ahead of Monday’s crunch qualifier against Turkey in Samsun.

“We’ve put it to bed and full focus is on the challenge here and we’ll all be ready for it.

“What I want is a reaction from the players, and that is in the performance. If they do that the result will take care of itself.

“We’re a team in progression, a team in transition, so we have to remind ourselves where on the journey we are.”

Wales supporters let their anger known at the final whistle on Friday as defeat allied to Turkey’s last-gasp 3-2 win in Latvia left them off two points off the Group D leaders.

Page said disappointment was heightened by expectation after Wales’ first World Cup for 64 years in Qatar and the poor run of results were partly down to the quality of opposition they had played.

“I think the reason it was such a low moment was because of expectations we put on ourselves, because of results we’ve had and performances we’ve had,” Page said of Wales’ first European Championship home qualifying defeat for 12 years.

“There is a stat about one win in 11 games, look at the opposition we’ve been playing.

“Look at the standard of teams in the Nations League.

“If we were playing England, Netherlands or Belgium six or seven years ago it might have been more than the close games we lost in the 95th minute.

“We showed our potential in March. We are still a young group so there are going to be inconsistencies.

“There are going to be bumps along the way. Friday was a massive bump, but now we stick together as a group.”

Skipper Aaron Ramsey insists Wales can turn their fortunes around with the Turkey clash representing the halfway point of the qualifying campaign.

“I believe in this team, I am confident,” said Ramsey.

“We have a good opportunity to get back on track and hopefully concentrate on performance and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.

“We are in a decent position. If we can take full advantage of tomorrow night we will be back in this group.”

Vice-captain Ben Davies has not travelled to Samsun as the Tottenham defender has stayed at home for the birth of his first child.

Kieffer Moore also misses out after being sent off in the closing stages against Armenia.

Ben Davies will not feature for Wales in their Euro 2024 qualifier against Turkey.

The Football Association of Wales announced the Tottenham defender has stayed at home for the birth of his first child.

Kieffer Moore is also absent for Rob Page’s side after being sent off during their humiliating 4-2 defeat to Armenia in Cardiff on Friday.

The forward is suspended having been sent off after tangling with goalkeeper Ognjen Chancharevich.

Goalkeeper Tom King will also miss Monday’s clash in Samsun as Wales look to recover from Friday’s shock loss.

Wales are back in Euro 2024 qualifying action away to Turkey on Monday.

Rob Page’s side are bidding to recover from their shock home defeat to Armenia on Friday against the Group D leaders.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the main talking points surrounding the crunch game in Samsun.

Page must strike right balance

This time last year Wales boss Page was basking in the glow of guiding Wales to their first World Cup for 64 years. How times have changed.

Wales have won only once in 11 games and Page’s tactics have come under intense scrutiny.

Reverting to three at the back and playing two holding midfielders in front of them might provide Wales with the solidity they have so woefully lacked over the past 12 months.

Counter-attack best form of defence

There is no Kieffer Moore after the Bournemouth targetman was sent off against Armenia to earn a ban.

Moore’s absence might actually work in Wales’ favour in this instance should Page bolster his defence and pack the midfield.

That could give Wales a strong base to release the pace of Brennan Johnson and Daniel James on the break.

Should Danny ward off Wayne?

Danny Ward’s miserable season suffered further indignity as four goals flashed past him in Armenia’s stunning Cardiff success.

Ward’s struggle for form at relegated Leicester saw him lose his place there towards the end of the season and his confidence levels must be a real concern for Page.

Wayne Hennessey is the obvious replacement but the 108-times capped veteran – sent off on his last appearance at the World Cup in Qatar – has spent most of the season warming the bench at Nottingham Forest.

Revenge or repeat?

The two nations have met seven times with Wales winning four games to Turkey’s two and one draw.

Their last meeting came two years ago as Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts scored in a 2-0 Wales victory at the delayed 2020 European Championship, securing qualification for the knockout stage at Turkey’s expense.

So Turkey have that extra motivation of avenging that Baku defeat in front of what is sure to be a volatile crowd at the Samsun 19 Mayis Stadium.

Balance of power

This contest has the appearance of a defining fixture to make next summer’s European Championship finals in Germany.

Wales’ promising start with four points from two games, which included a bonus draw away to group favourites Croatia, was blown apart by the Armenia defeat.

Turkey are now on the front foot after grabbing a stoppage-time winner to beat Latvia 3-2 on Friday, and victory would take them five points clear of Wales in a potential race behind Croatia for the second qualifying spot.

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