Gatland names Welsh side for Ireland Six Nations opener

Gatland names Welsh side for Ireland Six Nations opener

Warren Gatland has named his Wales team to face Ireland in the Six Nations opener this Saturday.

Leigh Halfpenny is in to make his first Wales start in 19 months and starts in a back three completed by Josh Adams and Rio Dyer, while Joe Hawkins is in line for only his second cap after making his debut against Australia in the autumn.

Dan Biggar returns at fly-half after missing the autumn campaign through injury, while on the bench, Scott Baldwin and Owen Williams will be hoping to win their first caps since 2017.

In total, 12 Ospreys are involved, with half of them featuring in the pack, where captain Ken Owens and Taulupe Faletau are the only ones not plying their club rugby in Swansea.

Gatland will be holding a press conference imminently to explain his selection decisions, and you can follow live updates on what he has to say on our live blog below:

Wales: 15. Leigh Halfpenny, 14. Josh Adams, 13. George North, 12. Joe Hawkins, 11. Rio Dyer, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Tomos Williams; 1. Gareth Thomas, 2. Ken Owens (capt), 3. Tomas Francis, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 6. Jac Morgan, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Taulupe Faletau.

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.

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