Six Nations 2014: Wales’ Jones and Davies to face England
Alun Wyn Jones and Jonathan Davies are recalled to the Wales team to face England on Sunday
Alun Wyn Jones and Jonathan Davies have been recalled to the Wales team to face England in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Sunday.
Warren Gatland surprises nobody with three changes—one positional—to the side that demolished France 27-6 at the Millennium Stadium on 21 February.
It’s great to have both Jon and Alun Wyn back and available and they come into a very experienced side
The return of 25-year-old Scarlets centre Davies to partner Jamie Roberts sees former club team-mate George North switch back to his usual position on the left wing with Scarlets’ Liam Williams dropping to the bench.
In the only change up front, Alun Wyn Jones partners Luke Charteris in the second row after a foot infection kept him out of Wales’ last match with Jake Ball dropping to the bench.
Davies aborted a comeback bid in February after 40 minutes in the LV=Cup, but successfully came through 65 minutes for the Scarlets in Saturday’s win over Munster with hints that he would be back up to speed for the visit to England.
“It’s great to have both Jon and Alun Wyn back and available and they come into a very experienced side,” said Gatland.
“Jon came through the match well at the weekend and he is ready to go.
“We were happy with the response and performance against France but we know we will have to raise it another level on Sunday.
“We are really looking forward to going up to Twickenham, England have performed well so far and it’s set up to be a great game with all to play for.”
The formidable front row of Gethin Jenkins, Richard Hibbard and Adam Jones looks to relive the scrum dominance they enjoyed in Wales’ title-stealing 30-3 win over England in Cardiff almost 12 months ago, while captain destructive breakdown operators Sam Warburton and Dan Lydiate again link up with ball-carrying menace Taulupe Faletau in the back row.
After an impressive outing against France, Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb retains his place to partner Rhys Priestland at half-back, with Cardiff Blues duo Leigh Halfpenny and Alex Cuthbert completing the back three along with North.
Walex XV to face England
Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton Saints); Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Sam Warburton (Cardiff, captain), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Paul James (Bath Rugby), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys); Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Liam Williams (Cardiff).