Wayne Pivac includes eight Scarlets for Dublin quest

Kieran Lewis News

Eight Scarlets are included in Wales’ squad to take on Ireland in their round two Guinness Six Nations clash in Dublin on Saturday.

Leigh Halfpenny, Hadleigh Parkes, Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Jake Ball all retain their place in the starting XV, while Johnny McNicholl is named among the replacements alongside Ryan Elias and the recalled Gareth Davies.

Davies has recovered from the groin injury that forced him to miss last weekend’s 42-0 rout of Italy.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has made one change to his starting line-up with Nick Tompkins, who made a try-scoring debut in round one, coming into the side at centre.

Tompkins will line-up at outside centre with George North moving to the wing for the clash in Dublin.

North will line-up in an experienced back-three alongside Josh Adams and Halfpenny, whilst Tompkins will partner Parkes in the midfield. Tomos Williams and Dan Biggar continue their partnership at half-back.

Pivac has named an unchanged pack with Wyn Jones, Owens and Dillon Lewis in the front-row and Ball lining up alongside captain Alun Wyn Jones. Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau feature in the back-row.

“We’ve made just one change after a winning start last weekend,” said Pivac.

“Nick comes into the side, I thought he played exceptionally well when he came on last week so he deserves the start. George, who played really well last weekend at centre, moves back out to the wing.

“On the bench we have a few players back available. Rhys Carre impressed at the RWC and he comes back in. Adam Beard comes in for Cory Hill who picked up a leg injury earlier this week, Gareth (Davies) is fully fit and Owen Williams comes onto the bench and gives us a bit more cover.

“Momentum is important in the Championship. It was nice to get a good winning start under our belts and hopefully we can build on that through the tournament.”

On the bench Carre joins Elias and Leon Brown as the front-row replacements with Adam Beard and Ross Moriarty completing the forward contingent. Davies, Owen Williams and McNicholl provide the back-line cover.

WALES TEAM TO PLAY IRELAND (Saturday February 8 KO 14.15 ITV & S4C)

Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets); 14 George North (Ospreys), 13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens), 12  Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), 11  Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues); 10 Dan Biggar (Northampton), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues); 1 Wyn Jones (Scarlets), 2 Ken Owens (Scarlets), 3 Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), 4 Jake Ball (Scarlets), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, capt), 6 Aaron Wainwright (Dragons), 7 Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), 8 Taulupe Faletau (Bath).
Reps: 16. Ryan Elias (Scarlets), 17 Rhys Carre (Saracens), 18 Leon Brown (Dragons), 19 Adam Beard (Ospreys), 20 Ross Moriarty (Dragons), 21 Gareth Davies (Scarlets), 22 Owen Williams (Gloucester), 23 Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets).