Planet Rugby



Coombs to start for Wales

31st January 2013 13:28


Coombs Andrew Newport Dragons

Andrew Coombs: Set for Test debut

Dragons lock Andrew Coombs will make his Test debut when Wales host Ireland in their Six Nations clash in Cardiff on Saturday.

Coombs, who will pack down alongside Ian Evans in the second row, owes his selection due to the unavailability of injured trio Alun-Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris and Bradley Davies.

Harlequins lock Olly Kohn is also set to make his first international appearance after being named amongst the replacements.

Wales' caretaker coach Rob Howley said Coombs' selection is a reward for his fine form for the Dragons.

"It's a great opportunity for Andrew, who has been performing well at regional level, to show what he can do on this stage," Howley said.

"As a squad, we have worked hard over the past two weeks and go into Saturday excited and confident at defending our title.

"The Six Nations is all about momentum, and we know we have to hit the ground running against Ireland."

Howley has also brought in tighthead prop Adam Jones to the run-on side, after he missed Wales' end-of-year internationals because of a knee injury.

Jones is reunited in the front-row with fellow British & Irish Lions Matthew Rees and Gethin Jenkins.

Howley has resisted the temptation to to field two openside flankers - captain Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric - with aaron Shingler joining Warburton on the flank.

Amongst the backs, Dan Biggar is preffered to James Hook at fly-half but there is no place in the squad for Biggar's Ospreys team-mate Eli Walker - who is ruled out by hamstring trouble.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Olly Kohn, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Loyd Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Scott Williams.

Date: Saturday, 2 February
Venue: Millennium Stadium
Kick-off: 13:30 GMT
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa) and Pascal Gauzere (France)

  • Wales Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
More International Match fixtures
RBS Six Nations
Friday , February 6
Wales vs England20:05
Sunday , February 15
Scotland vs Wales15:00
More RBS Six Nations fixtures
  • Wales Results
Recent Results
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Saturday , November 15
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
Saturday , November 8
Wales 28 - 33 AustraliaWales vs Australia Report
More International Match results
  • Table
RBS Six Nations Table