Injury forces Wales reshuffle
TEAM UPDATE: Leigh Halfpenny has been ruled out of Wales’ Six Nations opener against Ireland on Saturday due to a back spasm.
The fullback was due to win his 98th cap in his first start for 19 months in the opening game of Warren Gatland’s second spell in charge.
Halfpenny had overcome a serious knee injury to get himself back into contention for selection.
His replacement for the clash against the top-ranked side in the world at the Millennium Stadium will be Cardiff’s Liam Williams.
“Unfortunately, Leigh had a back spasm this morning and Liam will be playing,” said Wales assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys.
“I think it’s more disappointing for him as a person. He is an unbelievable professional and an unbelievable person.
“He has got to pick himself up again. You feel for him that he’s got to pull out at this late stage.”
Wales – revised: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Josh Adams, 13 George North, 12 Joe Hawkins, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos William, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Jac Morgan, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gareth Thomas
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Dafydd Jenkins, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Alex Cuthbert.
Date: Saturday, February 4
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 14.15 (14.15 GMT)
Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia) & Luke Pearce (England )
TMO: Tom Foley (England)