Wales have recalled Taulupe Faletau and Josh Adams for Saturday’s Six Nations match against England. They are the only two changes made by head coach Wayne Pivac to the team which beat Scotland with Faletau in the back row instead of Jac Morgan and wing Adams replacing Louis Rees-Zammit.
Number eight Faletau has played two games for Bath since a seven-month lay-off with an ankle injury. Adams missed the home win over Scotland with a calf problem.
The Cardiff wing was picked at outside centre for the opening defeat in Ireland but is back in his natural position at Twickenham.
Owen Watkin and Nick Tompkins start again in midfield with Jonathan Davies on the replacements’ bench. Wing Alex Cuthbert keeps his starting spot after an impressive display against Scotland with Rees-Zammit released to play for Gloucester against Leicester on Saturday. Rees-Zammit has struggled to impose himself in the first two games of the Six Nations. The 21-year-old damaged his ankle in the warm-up against Ireland but still played in the Dublin defeat.
Wales with a full squad is a real danger for any team. When they have all players available to play, they instantly become fan favorites for sports betting.
Faletau is straight in the back row at number eight alongside Dragons duo Taine Basham and Ross Moriarty, who switches to blind-side flanker. Faletau has played twice for Bath since returning to action after picking up an ankle injury while playing for the British and Irish Lions in South Africa in the summer of 2021. The 31-year-old has played 86 internationals for Wales and been involved in five Lions Tests.
Morgan started in his first cap against Scotland, while Aaron Wainwright – who misses out altogether at Twickenham – was included from the outset against Ireland.
Scarlets scrum-half Kieran Hardy, Ospreys outside-half Gareth Anscombe, and Dragons prop Leon Brown make their first 2022 Six Nations outings from the bench.
“We’re very pleased to have the experienced Faletau back,” said Pivac.
“He’s trained well during the week and got 80 minutes under his belt last week. From our point of view, he brings a lot of experience so we’re very excited to have him back. I’m also really pleased for Cuthbert to get 50 Tests for his country. It’s a massive achievement. And it’s also great to have Adams back from injury. They are two good players. That means Rees-Zammit is the unfortunate one this week that misses out. But we’ve looked at the opposition we’re playing and niggly injuries that players pick up from time to time and we think that in this particular match, the way the game will go, that Alex and Josh are the right selection.“
With Dan Biggar leading Wales and his Northampton team-mate Courtney Lawes skippering England, it is the first time in history the captains in an England against Wales fixture have both come from the same club.