Faletau on bench for Wales

Date published: February 9 2017

Wales have made two front-row changes to the side that beat Italy on the opening weekend of the Six Nations, to face England this Saturday.

Props Rob Evans and Tomas Francis both come into the starting XV for Wales’ match against the 2016 Grand Slam champions. Taulupe Faletau is the solitary personnel change from the matchday squad against Italy and he is named on the bench.

Evans and Francis join Ken Owens in the front-row with Jake Ball again partnering skipper Alun-Wyn Jones in the second-row. Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty make up the back-row.

Wales name an unchanged backline with Dan Biggar recovering from injury to partner Rhys Webb at half-back.

Scarlets duo Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies continue in the midfield with Liam Williams, George North and Leigh Halfpenny comprising the back three.

“There is huge excitement in the camp ahead of Saturday for what is set to be a massive RBS 6 Nations encounter,” said Wales head coach Rob Howley.

“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 (Biggar) and George (North) have worked hard with the medics and we are pleased to be able to name them.”

On the bench Nicky Smith, Samson Lee and Scott Baldwin are the front-row replacements with Cory Hill and Faletau completing the forward contingent. The backline cover remains the same from Rome with Gareth Davies, Sam Davies and Jamie Roberts all named again.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jamie Roberts

Date: Saturday, February 11
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 16:50 GMT
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant Referees: Pascal Gauzère (France), Nick Briant (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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