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6 Nations

Four Changes to Wales’ Starting XV

Wales have made four changes to their team for their Six Nations game against England this weekend

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(ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has made a total of four changes to his starting XV for his team’s Six Nations clash with England in Twickenham this Saturday at 16 45.

There are two changes each in the backs and forwards, with Josh Navidi and Rob Evans coming into the pack, while Liam Williams and Tomos Williams come into the back-line. 

It is a huge boost for both Liam Williams and Navidi with both set to make their first appearances of 2020 following lengthy spells on the sidelines due to injury. 

Elsewhere, it’s as you were from the defeat to France two weeks’ ago meaning Evans links up with Ken Owens and Dillon Lewis in the front-three, while Jake Ball and captain Alun Wyn-Jones once again start in the engine-room. 

Ross Moriarty opens at blindside-flanker, with Justin Tipuric again on the openside and Navidi comes straight in to take the No 8 jersey. 

Tomos Williams begins the game at scrum-half, with Dan Biggar retained at fly-half, while Hadleigh Parkes and Nick Tompkins continue their partnership in the midfield. 

Liam Williams comes in on the left-wing, with George North recovering from injury to take a spot on the right and Leigh Halfpenny finishes up an experienced back-three from full-back. 

There is a mix of youth and experience on the bench with the likes of Rhys Carre and Johnny McNicholl joining Taulupe Faletau and Rhys Webb among the replacements. 

Speaking ahead of the game Pivac is hoping to bounce back from the loss to France and is delighted to have some key men returning to full-fitness. 

“We’ve had a good two weeks and we are really excited about heading up to Twickenham for what will be a huge Six Nations clash. We have had the chance to put the disappointments of the loss to France behind us and we know heading to London we need to be more clinical in attack and convert the opportunities that we are creating. Liam’s return to full fitness is positive after the loss of Josh (Adams), as is the return of Josh Navidi.  We have been targeting this game for both of their returns and they have trained really well so it’s a great opportunity for them on Saturday,” he said. 

Wales will be hoping to ensure they don’t fall to a third successive defeat in this year’s tournament when they head to their old rivals, but they will be coming up against a tough England team that are looking to keep their championship title hopes alive. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below. 

Starting XV: 

15. Leigh Halfpenny (88 Caps)

14. George North (94 Caps)

13. Nick Tompkins (3 Caps)

12. Hadleigh Parkes (28 Caps)

11. Liam Williams (62 Caps)

10. Dan Biggar (82 Caps)

9. Tomos Williams (19 Caps)

1. Rob Evans (38 Caps)

2. Ken Owens (65 Caps)

3. Dillon Lewis (25 Caps)

4. Jake Ball (45 Caps)

5. Alun Wyn Jones (C) (137 Caps)

6. Ross Moriarty (44 Caps)

7. Justin Tipuric (75 Caps)

8. Josh Navidi (23 Caps)

Replacements: 

16. Ryan Elias (12 Caps)

17. Rhys Carre (7 Caps)

18. Leon Brown (9 Caps)

19. Aaron Shingler (26 Caps)

20. Taulupe Faletau (75 Caps)

21. Rhys Webb (32 Caps)

22. Jarrod Evans (6 Caps)

23. Johnny McNicholl (3 Caps)

6 Nations

Scotland name strong team for Wales

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Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Issued by SRU

Stuart Hogg will return to the Scotland starting line-up as Captain for the final round of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations against Wales on Saturday 31 October – kick-off 2:15pm.

Fresh from securing the European and Premiership double with his club Exeter Chiefs, Hogg plays at full back as one of five changes to the starting XV from the Scotland side that defeated Georgia 48-7 last week.

Finn Russell lines up at fly-half after winning his 50th Scotland cap in the Georgia victory at BT Murrayfield on Friday night, and is joined in the half-backs by Glasgow Warriors’ Ali Price.

In the back division, Blair Kinghorn shifts to the wing from full-back and replaces Edinburgh teammate Duhan van de Merwe, who is named among the replacements. James Lang and Chris Harris continue their centre partnership after playing together against Georgia.

In the pack fellow Exeter Chief Jonny Gray comes into the second row and Scarlets’ Blade Thomson is selected at number 8 and will run out on his club ground on Saturday in Llanelli.Hooker Fraser Brown is named as Vice-Captain and packs down with Rory Sutherland and Zander Fagerson in an unchanged front row.

Scott Cummings also retains his starting place to partner Gray in the second row.Edinburgh pair Jamie Ritchie, also a Vice Captain, and Hamish Watson make up the back-row with Thomson.

In the replacements Harlequins scrum-half Scott Steele could make his Scotland debut if called into action.

Adam Hastings and van de Merwe complete the backline replacements. Townsend can also call upon the same front row of Oli Kebble, Stuart McInally and Simon Berghan as featured in against Georgia, alongside Worcester Warrior Cornell du Preez and Edinburgh’s Ben Toolis from the bench.

“As a group we are very much looking forward to finally completing our fixture against Wales and returning to play Guinness Six Nations rugby again. We were highly motivated back in March, and that extra edge has come back into our training and preparations this week.
Scotland Head Coach, Gregor Townsend

“It’s been great to bring in quality and experience to our starting line-up with players such as Stuart, Jonny and Finn who have been involved in some high-level games in recent weeks. We were also encouraged by Blade’s display at the weekend for Scarlets, which is a timely boost given last weekend’s injury to Matt Fagerson.

“We are expecting a physical battle against a very good side, one which we will be working hard to stay in the fight and to finish the fight in Llanelli. Ultimately, this game provides an opportunity for us to end this extended championship on a positive note and go into the Autumn Nations Cup with some added belief in what this group of players can achieve.”

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6 Nations

Wales XV announced for 6 Nations finale v Scotland.

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Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones will become rugby’s most capped international on Saturday when he makes his 149th test appearance (140th for Wales plus 9 British & Irish Lions caps).

Jones levelled the record last weekend but will take the honour for himself at Parc y Scarlets this weekend as Wales face Scotland in their re-arranged Guinness Six Nations finale (14.15 KO BBC & S4C).

At the other end of the international spectrum, Cardiff Blues back-row Shane Lewis-Hughes will make his first test appearance for Wales in a back-row alongside experienced Lions duo Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau.

Will Rowlands, fresh from the English Premiership Final with Wasps, comes into the side to make his first start for Wales and he packs down alongside captain Jones.

European Champion and English Premiership winner Tomas Francis comes into the front-row alongside Rhys Carre and Ryan Elias.

In the backline Gareth Davies partners Dan Biggar with Owen Watkin coming into the midfield alongside Jonathan Davies.

Liam Williams returns to the back-three to feature alongside Josh Adams and Leigh Halfpenny.

On the bench Sam Parry, Wyn Jones and Dillon Lewis provide the front-row replacements with Cory Hill and James Davies completing the forward contingent. Lloyd Williams comes straight into the matchday squad and provides backline cover along with Rhys Patchell and Nick Tompkins.

Issued by WRU

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6 Nations

England name team to face Italy

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(Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Issued by Rugby Football Union

Eddie Jones has named his team for England’s key Guinness Six Nations tie against Italy on Saturday [31 October].

Ben Youngs is set to make his 100th cap for his country, at scrum half – becoming the second most capped England men’s player of all time after Jason Leonard (114 caps). Youngs made his senior team debut against Scotland in March 2010, where he came on as a substitute in the Calcutta Cup.

There is also a milestone for hooker Jamie George, who will make his 50th appearance for England this weekend.

Both players will lead England out at the Stadio Olimpico. England need a bonus-point win to put them in contention for winning the tournament, depending on the result in France v Ireland, which follows the game in Rome.

Jonny Hill will make his England debut at lock, while Owen Farrell, starting at fly-half, will captain the side. Henry Slade is at inside centre while Jonathan Joseph returns for England at outside centre.

George Furbank is named at full back with Jonny May and Anthony Watson on the wings.

Kyle Sinckler will play tighthead and Mako Vunipola loosehead in the front row. Maro Itoje completes the tight five.

Sam Underhill is named at open-side flanker with Tom Curry named at blind-side flanker and Billy Vunipola, returning from injury for England for the first time since the Rugby World Cup Final, at No. 8.

Uncapped trio Tom Dunn, Ollie Lawrence and Ollie Thorley are named as finishers, alongside scrum half Dan Robson. Props Ellis Genge and Will Stuart also join the bench with Charlie Ewels and Ben Earl.

Jones said: “We’ve trained with good intensity this week and the squad are excited by the challenge of performing at our best against Italy.

“The team have prepared well and are looking forward to putting on an England shirt and showing what they can do.

“We will also celebrate two major achievements in Ben Youngs and Jamie George’s cap milestones. It’s testimony to their skill, hard work and love of playing for England, and there is more to come from both of them.”

Italy v England is live on ITV 1 and BBC Radio 5 Live (4.45pm GMT KO).

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