Wales v Scotland: Rhys Webb starts for hosts in Six Nations

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Rhys Webb will win his 34th Wales cap on Saturday against Scotland
Guinness Six Nations: Wales v Scotland
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 14 March Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, S4C, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, & BBC Radio 5 Live with text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.

Scrum-half Rhys Webb makes his first start for Wales in almost two-and-a-half years when they face Scotland in the Six Nations in Cardiff on Saturday.

Sale Sharks tight-head prop WillGriff John will make his Wales debut after Dillon Lewis was ruled out by injury.

Dragons lock Cory Hill replaces injured Jake Ball to partner captain Alun Wyn Jones, who will equal Richie McCaw’s world record of 148 Tests.

Jones wins his 139th Wales cap and has nine for the British and Irish Lions.

Hill has not played for Wales since their Six Nations win over England in February 2019.

His return is among four changes with Wyn Jones also replacing Rob Evans at loose-head prop.

It is the only game going ahead as scheduled in the fifth round of the Six Nations with France v Ireland and Italy v England postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Wales aim to avoid a fourth successive defeat in Wayne Pivac’s first campaign in charge as successor to Warren Gatland.

Webb has made replacement appearances against Italy and England and starts after Tomos Williams started three and Gareth Davies began one of the first four matches.

The 31-year-old has signed a short-term deal with Bath until the end of the season and will join Ospreys for the 2020-21 campaign.

Webb left French side Toulon in January 2020. He had previously been ineligible for international selection after the WRU brought in a policy in October 2017 that meant players were excluded if they had won fewer than 60 caps and opted to move away from Wales.

John’s patient wait

It meant Webb missed the 2019 World Cup, but became eligible again after being given a six-month dispensation by the Welsh Rugby Union in January 2020.

Tight-head prop John was named in the Six Nations squad but has had to be patient behind Dillon Lewis and Leon Brown for the opening four matches.

Hill scored a try in the 2019 Six Nations victory against England but was ruled out of the rest of Wales’ Grand Slam campaign because of an ankle problem.

The Dragons forward then missed the World Cup after failing to recover from a leg fracture and has been absent from the 2020 tournament so far because of a hamstring problem.

Ryan Elias, Rhys Carre and Leon Brown provide the front-row replacements with Will Rowlands and Taulupe Faletau completing the forward contingent.

Gareth Davies, Jarrod Evans and Johnny McNicholl are the backline cover.

“Saturday is a great opportunity for us to wrap up the campaign with a big performance at home in Cardiff,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.

“We want to finish with the performance we know we can deliver and we have been working hard to get there.

“Alun Wyn is one of the most iconic figures in the game, he is our leader and I’m delighted for him as he continues to set the bar across the game.”

Wales

Halfpenny; North, Tompkins, Parkes, L Williams; Biggar, Webb; W Jones, Owens, John, Hill, AW Jones (capt), J Navidi, Moriarty, J Tipuric.

Replacements: R Elias, R Carre, Brown, Rowlands, Faletau, G Davies, J Evans, J McNicholl.

For the latest Welsh rugby union news follow @BBCScrumV on Twitter.





BBC News

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