Faletau and Adams return for England showdown

Taulupe Faletau
Taulupe Faletau and Josh Adams are both recalled to the Wales starting XV as Wayne Pivac names his side to face England in the Guinness Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday.

Taulupe Faletau and Josh Adams are both recalled to the Wales starting XV as Wayne Pivac names his side to face England in the Guinness Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday.

Faletau has been missing from Wales duty since the dramatic defeat to France in last year’s Championship but returns to the No.8 jersey after being drafted back into the squad earlier this week following two successful outings for Bath.

He joins a back row with Ross Moriarty, who moves to blindside flanker, and Taine Basham who returns to his favoured openside flanker after a shift on the opposite flank in the win over Scotland.

Adams, who started the opening game of the Championship against Ireland in the centres before missing the Scotland clash with injury, returns into his preferred left wing spot.

He is joined by Liam Williams at full-back and Alex Cuthbert on the right wing, who will make his 50th appearance for Wales.

Elsewhere in the backline, Pivac is able to name an unchanged midfield, with Nick Tompkins and Owen Watkin continuing from their impressive displays against Scotland, while Tomos Williams and captain Dan Biggar also continue.

In the forwards, Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias and Tomas Francis continue in the front row while for the first time since 2006, Wales will play England without Alun Wyn Jones, as Will Rowlands is joined by vice-captain Adam Beard in the second row.

Pivac is also able to bring back Leon Brown, Kieran Hardy and Gareth Anscombe onto the bench, which sees Jac Morgan set to face England for the first time after making his debut against Scotland.

Wales head coach Pivac said: “We’re very pleased to have the experienced Toby Faletau back. He’s trained well during the week and got 80 minutes under his belt last week.

“From our point of view he brings a lot of experience so we’re very excited to have Toby back.

“I’m also really pleased for Alex Cuthbert to get fifty Tests for his country. It’s a massive achievement.

“And it’s also great to have Josh Adams back from injury. They are two good players. That means Louis Rees-Zammit is the unfortunate one this week that misses out.

“But we’ve looked at the opposition we’re playing and niggly injuries that players pick up from time to time and we think that in this particular match, the way the game will go, that Alex and Josh are the right selection.

“Clearly everyone loves playing at home and it’s a first home game of the Guinness Six Nations for England. They will be tough opposition, they always are and both teams are still in this competition so there’s a lot at stake.

“It’s a big game. We had a great result against them last year but we’re going to have to play very, very well to get the same result this year.

“We played well against Scotland, but we’ve challenged the boys to make sure that we have that same effort away from home this week.”

Wales senior men’s team to face England:

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets – 76 caps)14. Alex Cuthbert (Ospreys – 49 caps)13. Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 28 caps)12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 18 caps)11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 36 caps)10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints – 97 caps), captain9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 31 caps)1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets – 40 caps)2. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 25 caps)3. Tomas Francis (Ospreys – 62 caps)4. Will Rowlands (Dragons – 15 caps)5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 31 caps), vice-captain6. Ross Moriarty (Dragons – 51 caps)7. Taine Basham (Dragons – 9 caps)8. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby – 86 caps)Replacements

16. Dewi Lake (Ospreys – 2 cap)17. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 7 caps)18. Leon Brown (Dragons – 20 caps)19. Seb Davies (Cardiff Rugby – 14 caps)20. Jac Morgan (Ospreys – 1 cap)21. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 8 caps)22. Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys – 29 caps)23. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets – 94 caps)