DRAGONS captain Cory Hill will be selected for the World Cup on Sunday despite being the only member of the Wales squad to not feature in the warm-ups because of injury.

The lock is the solitary player in Warren Gatland's group that won't have taken to the field before the head coach whittles 40 down to 31 after Saturday's game against Ireland.

Hill was pencilled in for the first part of the August double-header against England at Twickenham only to suffer an ankle problem in training.

The 27-year-old missed the Grand Slam-clinching wins against Scotland and Ireland after suffering an injury to the same left ankle when scoring the crucial try in the Six Nations win against England.

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However, the Dragons forward has had the all clear from a scan and a cortisone injection has improved his condition.

He is back running in training and will be selected by Gatland on Sunday afternoon after being a mainstay of the Wales squad since making his Test debut against Australia in 2016, racking up 24 appearances.

Asked if Hill's absence left him vulnerable, the head coach said: "No. He is an important member of the squad.

"He has been very important for us over the last couple of years and has captained the side as well. He's got important leadership skills and is very good in the lineout.

"If he is fit then I expect him to be selected."

While Hill is one of the shoo-ins for the 31-man squad, a raft of other players need to impress against Ireland on Saturday if they are to force their way into the reckoning.

Gatland went with his big guns in both games against England to mirror the six-day turnaround between the World Cup opener against Georgia and the key clash with Australia.

He has changed 14 of the starting line-up that triumphed against the English in Cardiff with openside James Davies the sole survivor.

Dragons tighthead Leon Brown will have to make a big impact off the bench if he is to overtake starter Samson Lee, who is back from a hamstring injury.

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Former Rodney Parade favourite Hallam Amos, who has left for Cardiff Blues, starts at full-back and the speedster from Monmouth will aim to hold of the challenge from Steff Evans, Owen Lane and Jonah Holmes to join Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams, George North and Josh Adams as back three options.

Centres Scott Williams and Owen Watkin are playing for the right to be back-up to Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies while Gatland says there is a shoot-out at fly-half.

Gareth Anscombe's knee injury leaves Jarrod Evans and Rhys Patchell battling to join starter Dan Biggar in Japan.

"The two of them are pretty aware that they'll get the chance on Saturday and it's probably a shootout between the two of them," said Gatland.

"There are a number of positions still up for grabs, front row, second row, back row, back three, the 10 position.

"The players are still pretty well aware of how important this game is and the opportunity they get to put their hands up for selection on Sunday."

Wales: H Amos (Cardiff Blues); O Lane (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Ospreys), O Watkin (Ospreys), S Evans (Scarlets); J Evans (Cardiff Blues), A Davies (Ospreys); R Carre (Saracens), R Elias (Scarlets), S Lee (Scarlets), A Beard (Ospreys), B Davies (Ospreys), A Shingler (Scarlets), J Davies (Scarlets), J Navidi (Cardiff Blues, captain).

Replacements: E Dee (Dragons), R Evans (Scarlets), L Brown (Dragons), J Ball (Scarlets), R Moriarty (Dragons), T Williams (Cardiff Blues), R Patchell (Scarlets), J Holmes (Leicester).