CARDIFF – Wales made a single change to their team for Friday’s start of the new Autumn Nations Cup away against Ireland despite losing their last five matches.
Justin Tipuric returns to the starting line-up after recovering from tonsillitis and features alongside Shane Lewis-Hughes and Taulupe Faletau in the loose trio.
“Friday night is the start of a new international season and a new campaign and we are looking forward to getting out there and showing what we can do,” said Wales coach Wayne Pivac on Wednesday.
The squad announcement comes days after parting with defence coach Byron Hayward in the wake of losing four out of five matches in the Six Nations plus a warm-up test in France.
Prop Tomas Francis will win his 50th cap and captain Alun Wyn Jones will extend his world record to 150 test appearances. George North returns to the bench and will mark a ton of test caps should he be used.
Uncapped flyhalf Callum Sheedy, who was an Irish junior international, is named in the matchday squad for the first time.
Wales team to play Ireland
15-Leigh Halfpenny, 14-Liam Williams, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Owen Watkin, 11-Josh Adams, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Gareth Davies, 8-Taulupe Faletau, 7-Justin Tipuric, 6-Shane Lewis-Hughes, 5-Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4-Will Rowlands, 3-Tomas Francis, 2-Ryan Elias, 1-Rhys Carre.
16-Ellliot Dee, 17-Wyn Jones, 18-Samson Lee, 19-Jake Ball, 20-Aaron Wainwright, 21-Lloyd Williams, 22-Callum Sheedy, 23-George North.
Meanwhile, Scotland coach Gregor Townsend on Wednesday named the following team for the Autumn Nations Cup clash against Italy in Florence on Saturday:
15-Stuart Hogg (capt), 14-Darcy Graham, 13-Chris Harris, 12-Sam Johnson, 11- Duhan van der Merwe, 10-Duncan Weir, 9-Ali Price, 8-Blade Thomson, 7-Hamish Watson, 6-Jamie Ritchie, 5-Jonny Gray, 4-Scott Cummings, 3-Zander Fagerson, 2-Stuart McInally, 1-Rory Sutherland
16-George Turner, 17-Oli Kebble, 18-WP Nel, 19-Sam Skinner, 20-Nick Haining, 21-Sam Hildago-Clyne Steele, 22-James Lang, 23-Blair Kinghorn.