George North returns as Wales otherwise unchanged for Scots

Winger sat out the defeat to England after picking up an injury in first round Italy win

Wales’ George North is the only change to the team to face Scotland. Photograph: Getty Images

Wales’ George North is the only change to the team to face Scotland. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Returning winger George North is the only change to the Wales starting line-up as they seek to get back to winning ways in the Six Nations against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

North missed the last-gasp 21-16 defeat at home to England on February 11th but has recovered from a dead leg and will replace Alex Cuthbert in a back three that also includes winger Liam Williams and fullback Leigh Halfpenny.

There was some debate around the expected make-up of the pack, especially the backrow, with the return to full fitness of Taulupe Faletau.

However, caretaker coach Rob Howley has stuck with the loose forward trio of Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty, who have impressed in the competition so far, leaving Faletau to take his place on the bench once more.

There is also one change among the replacements as lock Luke Charteris comes in for Cory Hill.

“We have been able to select from a position of strength which is a huge positive and it is good to welcome George back into the starting XV and Luke (Charteris) on to the bench,“ Howley said in a Welsh Rugby Union statement on Wednesday.

“In terms of intensity and performance, we stepped up a level against England and we need to take the positives from that performance and take it into 80 minutes against Scotland at Murrayfield.

“We know what we are capable of and we want to deliver that on Saturday alongside the result, which international rugby is all about.“

Wales opened their Six Nations campaign with a comprehensive 33-7 victory in Italy before suffering the agonising home defeat to England.

WALES: Leigh Halfpenny; George North, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Liam Williams; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis; Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones; Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Taulupe Faletau, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Jamie Roberts.

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