Rob Evans and Tomas Francis come into Wales side to face England

Dan Biggar and George North both maintain their places after suffering injuries last week

Rhys Webb of Wales talks with team mates Rob Evans and Sam Davies during a training session in Cardiff. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Rhys Webb of Wales talks with team mates Rob Evans and Sam Davies during a training session in Cardiff. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

 

Wales have made two changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s Six Nations clash against England in Cardiff.

Both switches are in the front-row, where props Rob Evans and Tomas Francis take over from Nicky Smith and Samson Lee, respectively.

Fly-half Dan Biggar and wing George North, who both suffered injuries during last Sunday’s 33-7 victory against Italy, make the starting XV, while Bath number eight Taulupe Faletau is among the replacements for potentially his first run-out since suffering a knee injury on Christmas Eve.

Evans and Francis bolstered Wales’ scrum when they went on as replacements at Stadio Olimpico, so their appearance in the starting XV this time around is no surprise.

Biggar, meanwhile, took a blow to his ribs in Rome and was forced off at half-time, while North suffered a leg problem early in the action, although he played on and scored a late try.

But after working hard with Wales’ medical staff this week, they will start Saturday’s Principality Stadium encounter.

His props apart, Wales’ interim head coach Rob Howley has retained the team that accounted for Italy 33-7.

“There is huge excitement in the camp ahead of Saturday for what is set to be a massive Six Nations encounter,” Howley said.

“We were really pleased with the result out in Rome, and are looking to build on that performance this weekend.

“Both Rob (Evans) and Tomas (Francis) made a big impact off the bench last weekend and deserve their opportunity to start.

“We have had a short turnaround, but Dan and George have worked hard with the medics and we are pleased to be able to name them.”

One area where Wales would appear to to possess a considerable edge is the back-row.

While England boss Eddie Jones has named a breakaway unit comprising a combined total of 20 caps, the Wales trio of Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty can boast 130 Test match appearances between them, with 62 more caps as bench cover with Faletau.

England, though, are on a 15-match unbeaten run and have won the last three Six Nations Tests against Wales.

WALES: L Halfpenny (Toulon); G North (Northampton), J Davies (Scarlets), S Williams (Scarlets), L Williams (Scarlets); D Biggar (Ospreys), R Webb (Ospreys); R Evans (Scarlets), K Owens (Scarlets), T Francis (Exeter), J Ball (Scarlets), A W Jones (Ospreys, capt), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues), J Tipuric (Ospreys), R Moriarty (Gloucester).

Replacements: S Baldwin (Ospreys), N Smith (Ospreys), S Lee (Scarlets), C Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons), T Faletau (Bath), G Davies (Scarlets), S Davies (Ospreys), J Roberts (Harlequins).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.