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Lydiate starts as Wales name team for Ireland

By PA

Trending on RugbyPass

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George North will start at centre when Wales launch their Guinness Six Nations campaign against Ireland in Cardiff on Sunday.

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Ospreys wing North, who wins his 99th cap, is partnered by Johnny Williams in midfield as Wales go into action without Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has handed recalls to 33-year-old Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate and Cardiff Blues wing Hallam Amos, and captain Alun Wyn Jones plays his first game since suffering a knee injury nine weeks ago.

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Jonny Wilkinson and Gregor Townsend guest on RugbyPass All Access ahead of Saturday’s Calcutta Cup match

North retains the centre role he filled in Wales’ last match against Italy on December 5, when Williams was injured and Davies started alongside him.

Lydiate last featured for Wales in November 2018, while Amos and Gloucester’s Louis Rees-Zammit take the wing positions in a department where Liam Williams and Josh Adams are both suspended.

Williams was sent off during Scarlets’ Guinness PRO14 defeat against the Blues last month, and Adams is serving a two-match ban imposed by the Welsh Rugby Union after breaching Covid-19 protocols by attending a family gathering.

Elsewhere, 77 times-capped hooker Ken Owens and scrum-half Tomos Williams return after missing Wales’ six autumn Tests due to shoulder injuries, and Adam Beard is also back as skipper Jones’ second-row partner.

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“We made strides forward through the autumn and we are looking to take that into Sunday and into this tournament. The Six Nations is a fantastic tournament and is important for us rugby wise but it is important for so much more this year,” said Pivac. “It is important for communities across the country and we want to play our part and give everyone something to look forward to and to get excited about on the weekend.”

WALES TEAM TO PLAY IRELAND

1. Wyn Jones
2. Ken Owens
3. Tomas Francis
4. Adam Beard
5. Alun Wyn Jones (CAPT)
6. Dan Lydiate
7. Justin Tipuric
8. Taulupe Faletau
9. Tomos Williams
10. Dan Biggar
11. Hallam Amos
12. Johnny Williams
13. George North
14. Louis Rees-Zammit
15. Leigh Halfpenny

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Replacements:
16. Elliot Dee
17. Rhodri Jones
18. Leon Brown
19. Will Rowlands
20. Josh Navidi
21. Gareth Davies
22. Callum Sheedy
23. Nick Tompkins

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Lydiate starts as Wales name team for Ireland

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