CARDIFF, Wales (AP) Worcester wing Josh Adams will make his debut for Wales against Scotland in Six Nations rugby in Cardiff on Saturday.
Adams, the leading try-scorer in the English Premiership with nine, joins six Scarlets in the backline chosen on Tuesday.
Cohesion was a tipping factor in picking Rhys Patchell as the starting flyhalf ahead of the more pragmatic Gareth Anscombe, who was in the reserves. Patchell, capped five times, will continue his club combination with scrumhalf Gareth Davies.
Article continues below ...
With eight front-line players out, seven of them British Lions including Sam Warburton, Taulupe Faletau, George North, Jonathan Davies, Dan Biggar, Liam Williams, and Dan Lydiate, the Welsh selectors went with known combinations in an effort to compensate for lack of experience.
There are 10 Scarlets in the 15, including the front row.
Ross Moriarty, who suffered nerve damage in his back in the first match of the Lions tour in New Zealand and didn’t return to action until this month, makes a timely return to No. 8. Plus, openside flanker Josh Navidi and blindside Aaron Shingler, who started together three times in the autumn tests, have been retained, leaving Lions flanker Justin Tipuric in the reserves.
”We know what a quality player Ross is, it’s great he is back and available and we are looking forward to seeing his explosive ball carrying on Saturday,” coach Warren Gatland said in a statement.
”Rhys and Gareth have been training really well over the last couple of weeks. It was a tough call between them, Rhys has started most of his games for the Scarlets at 10, we are really happy with his form and the combination with Gareth at nine.
”For this opening game, we looked at a lot of combinations, especially the front row. It is exciting to see Samson (Lee) back playing well and the familiarity of the Scarlets front row will be important.”
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, Josh Adams, Scott Williams, Hadleigh Parkes, Steff Evans, Rhys Patchell, Gareth Davies; Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Aaron Shingler, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Cory Hill, Samson Lee, Ken Owens, Rob Evans. Reserves: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Tomas Francis, Bradley Davies, Justin Tipuric, Aled Davies, Gareth Anscombe, Owen Watkin.