Ricky Richards of Neath will start at scrum-half in the first of Wales' three Pool matches - the other preliminary games are against Argentina at Iffley Road (Oxford University Ground) at 3pm on Tuesday and South Africa at Newbury on Saturday (6pm).
Richards replaces Llanelli youngster Michael Phillips who is currently on tour with the Wales senior squad in Australia and New Zealand.
Wales are seeded fourth in the world for this tournament, behind only South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and coach Chris Davey is hoping his team will live up to that status.
'All we want is a win on Friday to get us off to a good start in the competition so that we can build after that,' said former Caerphilly Coach Davey.
'Despite losing a couple of players to the Wales squad, we still have a strong team and our expectations are high for this tournament.
'Being seeded fourth, our main objective is to get through to the 1st - 4th Play-offs, after that anything can happen.'
Wales are in Pool D with Ireland and Canada who also play against all the Pool A teams (Scotland, Argentina and South Africa). The top two teams from the combined pools will go through to the 1st - 4th Play-offs, the next two will play in the 5th - 8th Play-offs and the bottom two teams will fight it out in the 9th - 12th Play-Offs.
G Swales (Swansea); J Vaughton (Cardiff), D Bishop (Bridgend), S Williams (Newport), M Nuttall (Pontypridd); N Robinson (Cardiff), R Richards (Neath); P James (Neath, cap), K Crawford (Ebbw Vale), R Jones (Newport), B Griffiths (Llanelli), J Goode (Cardiff), M Lewis (Pontypridd), R Pugh (Swansea), J Malpas (Cardiff).
Replacements: L May (Swansea), T R Thomas (Newport), L Charteris (Newport), R Sowden-Taylor (Cardiff), A Lake (Bridgend), M Hook (Newport), N Brew (Newport).