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Evans, James & Tipuric To Start For Wales

Evans, James & Tipuric To Start For Wales

The Wales team to face reigning RBS 6 Nations champions Ireland in Dublin on Sunday includes starts for Rob Evans, Tom James and Justin Tipuric.

Justin Tipuric starts the game at the Aviva Stadium at openside flanker with captain Sam Warburton at blindside and Taulupe Faletau at number 8, completing an all-British & Irish Lions back row.

In the front row Rob Evans starts at loosehead prop and will earn his fourth cap in his third match against Ireland. James, who last played for Wales in the autumn of 2010, will win his 10th cap on the left wing.

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James will form a new-look back-three alongside Gareth Anscombe and George North. Anscombe, who made his international debut against Ireland last August, will make his first RBS 6 Nations start as he lines up at full-back.
Jonathan Davies returns to the side from injury for the first time since last year’s Six Nations. He is named alongside Jamie Roberts in midfield to reform Wales’ most-capped centre pairing.

Dan Biggar and Gareth Davies are the half-backs and they line up together for the fifth consecutive match. In the pack Evans is joined in the front row by Ospreys hooker Scott Baldwin and Scarlets prop Samson Lee. Luke Charteris and Alun Wyn Jones continue their partnership in the second row.

“We are excited by the make-up of the squad, it’s very experienced along with one eye looking to the future,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

“Rob (Evans) gets a start at loosehead, he’s played well for us before and deserves a chance looking ahead to the next few years.

“We have been impressed with Tom James’ form for Cardiff Blues and we are excited by the mix of the back row which has played well together before. It’s great to see Jonathan (Davies) back and alongside Jamie, which makes a pretty experienced midfield. Gareth (Anscombe) at full-back also gives us the option of having two first receivers.

“We have a very experienced bench, with a lot of caps there and hopefully they will come on and make an impact.”

“It’s going to be a physical game. Two years ago they strangled us out of the match and played well and we have to rise to that challenge on Sunday.”

On the bench Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins and Tomas Francis provide the front row cover, with Bradley Davies and Dan Lydiate rounding off the forward contingent. Davies will win his 50th cap if he takes to the pitch in Dublin. Lloyd Williams, Rhys Priestland and Alex Cuthbert provide the backline cover.

WALES Team & Replacements (v Ireland, RBS 6 Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Sunday, February 7, kick-off 3pm):

15. Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues)
14. George North (Northampton Saints)
13. Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne)
12. Jamie Roberts (Harlequins)
11. Tom James (Cardiff Blues)
10. Dan Biggar (Ospreys)
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
1. Rob Evans (Scarlets)
2. Scott Baldwin (Ospreys)
3. Samson Lee (Scarlets)
4. Luke Charteris (Racing 92)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys)
6. Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues) (capt)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons)


16. Ken Owens (Scarlets)
17. Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues)
18. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Bradley Davies (Wasps)
20. Dan Lydiate (Ospreys)
21. Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues)
22. Rhys Priestland (Bath)
23. Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues)