Wayne Pivac makes eight changes to Wales side to face England

Under-fire head coach Wayne Pivac has recalled the big guns for Wales’ Autumn Nations Cup clash against England on Saturday.

Four changes in the backs and four in the forwards are made by Pivac, who has come under scrutiny for his side’s lacklustre performances this autumn going back to their Six Nations defeat to Scotland last month.

In a surprise selection Liam Williams, who did require stitches to a facial wound, is dropped from the match-day 23 and is replaced at full-back by Leigh Halfpenny, while Josh Adams also comes into the back three in place of Johnny McNicholl.

Changes had been expected to the experimental side that beat Georgia 18-0 last week, as Wales welcome unbeaten England to Parc y Scarlets.

The visitors have made a change at fly-half with George Ford returning and Wales have done the same in opting for Dan Biggar.

Left out of the squad for the victory over Georgia, the Northampton Saints No.10 is back in an all-new half-back pairing which includes Lloyd Williams replacing debutant Kieran Hardy.

Despite losing out to Biggar, Callum Sheedy is retained among the replacements. Though, Hardy does miss out as Rhys Webb is preferred as the bench option to Williams.

In the pack, Ryan Elias appears to have kept his tentative place as first-choice hooker by Pivac after experiencing lineout troubles. The Dragons forward supplants Elliot Dee, who drops to the bench.

Scarlets duo Wyn Jones and Samson Lee round out the front row to start on their home ground.

Alun Wyn Jones returns to the starting line-up to captain Wales on the occasion of his world-record extending 151st Test cap. The veteran’s inclusion costs Seb Davies his shot at making back-to-back starts for the first time since June 2018.

The other two changes to the forwards come in the back row where Shane Lewis-Hughes and Taulupe Faletau are recalled in place of the injured Justin Tipuric and Aaron Wainwright.

James Botham keeps his place after making his debut last week.

Pivac said: β€œSaturday is another great opportunity for us and for this squad.

β€œIt is another chance for us to take what we have been doing in training and take that into matchday and we are looking forward it.

β€œWe know what we need to do and we are focused on that.”


Wales team to play England in the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup (Saturday 4pm, Amazon Prime)

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Lloyd Williams; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 7 James Botham, 8 Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Owen Watkin

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