Wales team to face Scotland
11:01am Thursday 13th March 2014
11:01am Thursday 13th March 2014
WALES have made six changes to their starting line-up for the RBS Six Nations clash against Scotland at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 2..45pm).
Three come in the backline with Liam Williams (Scarlets) and Mike Phillips (Racing Metro) in for injured duo Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb, at full-back and scrum-half respectively.
Dan Biggar makes his first start of the tournament at fly-half, partnering Phillips at half-back.
The rest of the backs remain unchanged from Sunday's game at Twickenham with Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro) and Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) named in the centre and Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues) and George North (Northampton Saints) on the wings.
In the pack Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues) will become Wales' most-capped player when he makes his 105th appearance on Saturday, moving one ahead of Stephen Jones.
Jenkins will feature in a new look front-row alongside Scarlets pair Ken Owens and Rhodri Jones who get their first starts of the campaign. In the second-row Luke Charteris (Perpignan) returns from injury to take his place alongside Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys).
The back-row remains unchanged with captain Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues) playing alongside Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro) and Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Wales will be intent on finishing the competition on a high against a Scotland team who are looking for their first victory in Cardiff since 2002.
"Saturday is an opportunity for us to put in a performance we know we can and finish the Six Nations on a high,” said Gatland. "We've made a number of changes and freshened things up with a just a six day turnaround between matches.
"Liam (Williams) and Mike (Phillips) come in with Leigh (Halfpenny) and Rhys (Webb) ruled out and Dan Biggar gets his opportunity at fly-half.
"In the front-row Ken Owens and Rhodri Jones get their chance to start after impressing off the bench and it's good to have Luke (Charteris) back from injury in the second-row.
"Scotland will come looking to play some rugby and had a morale boosting win against Italy and were unlucky to lose against France in recent weeks.
"We will be looking for a more accurate execution this week to finish with a win at home in Cardiff.”
Ospreys duo Richard Hibbard and Adam Jones drop to the bench and are named alongside Paul James (Bath Rugby), Jake Ball (Scarlets) and Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) as the forward replacements. Scarlets half-backs Rhodri Williams and Rhys Priestland are joined by Perpignan's James Hook as backs cover.
Wales team: Liam Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton Saints), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Sam Warburton (CAPT – Cardiff Blues), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Replacements: Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath Rugby), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), James Hook (Perpignan).
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