Lydiate to captain Wales as AWJ returns

Dan Lydiate will lead Wales as Alun Wyn Jones returns to face England at Twickenham on Sunday as Warren Gatland’s side begin their five match summer tour.

Lydiate continues with the captain’s duties after leading Wales to their record-breaking (67-14) victory against Italy in their last outing. The captain will wear the seven jersey and pack down alongside blindside Ross Moriarty, who scored a brace in that win over the Azzurri, and Taulupe Faletau.

It is an unchanged front-row for Wales with Rob Evans, Scott Baldwin and Samson Lee packing down for the sixth consecutive time together. Jake Ball will win his 18th cap in the second row alongside Alun Wyn Jones who returns from injury and moves onto 99 Wales caps.

There is just one change in the back-line from the side that beat Italy with Scott Williams returning from injury to partner Jamie Roberts in the midfield. Ospreys pair Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar continue at half-back with Hallam Amos, George North and Liam Williams making up the back-three.

“When you look at the summer series ahead, this is a really important match for the squad,” said Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland.

“When looking at previous summer tours and planning for New Zealand, we felt we needed greater preparation to prepare us for the step up in intensity and the match against England will provide that for us.

“It will be an important hit-out for both teams and as ever it will be an important Test match as it’s England v Wales at Twickenham.

“There is a lot of continuity in our squad and a great amount of experience and that is going to be vital over the next five weeks.

“Dan led us exceptionally well in our last match so deserves to continue with those duties this weekend."

Kristian Dacey, Gethin Jenkins and Rhodri Jones are named as the front row replacements. Dacey will be looking to add to his two caps awarded last year whilst it’s an international return for Rhodri Jones for the first time since November 2014. James King and Josh Turnbull complete the forward contingent with Turnbull featuring for the first time since he won his seventh cap against South Africa in 2014. Blues pair Lloyd Williams and Gareth Anscombe joins Rhys Priestland as the backline cover.
Liam Williams (Scarlets), George North (Northampton Saints), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), Hallam Amos (Dragons), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester), Dan Lydiate (Capt - Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues), James King (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Priestland (Bath Rugby), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues).