Wales name Owens and Francis

Date published: March 9 2015

Wales have called Scarlets hooker Ken Owens and Exeter Chiefs tighthead prop Tom Francis into their squad that is preparing to take on Ireland.

Owens was outstanding for his region in Saturday's PRO12 clash with Leinster and joins Richard Hibbard and Scott Baldwin as the Welsh hooking options.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Francis has impressed Wales' management this year and defence coach Shaun Edwards admits it is a boost to name the duo.

"Ken has been a great player for us in the past. He's a good guy, has a great attitude," he told ahead of Saturday's game in Cardiff.

"Ken is very experienced and has been involved in two Six Nations Championships. He has not been brought into replace anyone."

He added: "Francis is a big kid, he’s been going well with Exeter so we’ve bought him in.

"Francis is big, young and is coming from a great environment.

"They pride themselves on hard work and we think we have a similar environment."