North returns to wing for Wales
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales have made only one change to their starting XV to face Ireland this weekend.
Nick Tompkins, who made a try-scoring debut in round one, will line-up at outside centre with George North moving to the wing for the clash in Dublin on Saturday.
North will line-up in an experienced back three alongside Josh Adams and Leigh Halfpenny while Tompkins will partner Hadleigh Parkes in the midfield. Tomos Williams and Dan Biggar continue their partnership at half-back.
Wales have named an unchanged pack with Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Dillon Lewis in the front row and Jake 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 Wales head coach Wayne 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.
“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, Rhys Carre joins Ryan Elias and Leon Brown as the front-row replacements with Adam Beard and Ross Moriarty completing the forward contingent. Gareth Davies, Owen Williams and Johnny McNicholl provide the backline cover.
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Geoge North, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Johnny McNicholl
Date: Saturday, February 8
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 14.15 (14.15 GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) February 6, 2020