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Rugby | Six Nations

Dan Biggar © Gallo Images

Lions contingent roar again for Wales

The return of three British and Irish Lions is a boost for Wales as coach Warren Gatland named Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams in the team for Saturday's Six Nations game against Ireland in Dublin.

But Taulupe Faletau, who Wales declared ready to play on Monday, is not in the match-23 for the game where the Welsh will be seeking to end the hosts' perfect start.

Biggar has recovered from a shoulder injury and will play for the first time in this year's tournament as he replaces Rhys Patchell at flyhalf.

Williams, who is over a groin injury, has not played for Wales since they beat Georgia in November and comes onto the wing in place of Josh Adams.

Halfpenny had been named to play against England but pulled out before kickoff with a foot infection.

Gareth Anscombe took his place in the 12-6 defeat at Twickenham and drops to the bench for Saturday's clash.

"It is great to be able to bring so much experience back into the starting XV and into the backline," said Gatland, who will take charge of Wales for the 100th time.

"It is the first week we have had everyone in the 'green' in terms of availability which is a nice luxury to have and a positive ahead of what is a very important test match against a very good Ireland side.

"We have been pleased with the depth we have developed in the back-three and pleased with how those players have gone but having the experience of Dan, Liam and Leigh coming back in is hugely important."

"We have been pleased with how the forward pack has been going and how they have worked as a unit but as always there is pressure for them to perform too," the coach added in a Welsh Rugby Union statement.

Faletau is likely play for his club Bath at the weekend as he looks to improve his fitness after being out of the game for two months because of a knee injury.


15-Leigh Halfpenny, 14-Liam Williams, 13-Scott Williams, 12-Hadleigh Parkes, 11-Steff Evans, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Gareth Davies, 8-Ross Moriarty, 7-Josh Navidi, 6-Aaron Shingler, 5-Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4-Cory Hill, 3-Samson Lee, 2-Ken Owens, 1-Rob Evans

Replacements: 16-Elliot Dee, 17-Wyn Jones, 18-Tomas Francis, 19-Bradley Davies, 20-Justin Tipuric, 21-Aled Davies, 22-Gareth Anscombe, 23-George North.


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