Tipuric recalled for Six Nations decider

Justin Tipuric has been named in the Wales starting XV to play England in Cardiff on Saturday, one of two personnel changes to the side that beat Scotland last weekend with Gethin Jenkins returning from injury to lead the team.

The Ospreys again enjoy the largest recognition in the starting line-up with six players included in the XV – two more than any other region.

Jenkins has recovered from a calf injury that ruled him out of the victory at Murrayfield and will win his 98th cap when he captains Wales at the Millennium Stadium. He comes back into the front row and will line up once again alongside Richard Hibbard and Adam Jones (both Ospreys).

Ospreys duo Alun Wyn Jones and Ian Evans continue their partnership in the second row with the latter featuring in his 10thconsecutive Six Nations match.

In the absence of captain Ryan Jones in the back-row, Sam Warburton (Blues) switches to blindside flanker with Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) coming in to wear the number seven shirt alongside Toby Faletau (Dragons) at number eight.

Wales’ 28-18 victory in Edinburgh set a new Welsh record for consecutive away victories in the tournament and the consistency continues in the selection with interim head coach Rob Howley naming the same back line that has started each RBS 6 Nations game this season.

Mike Phillips (Bayonne) will become Wales’ most capped scrum half when he wins his 77thcap, surpassing Dwayne Peel’s previous record of 76.  Phillips will partner Dan Biggar (Ospreys) at half back.

Jamie Roberts (Blues) and Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) line up in the centre with Leigh Halfpenny (Blues), Alex Cuthbert (Blues) and George North (Scarlets) making up the back three.

Wales’ experienced side features 12 players who started the Grand Slam decider against France last season.

“The players have worked very hard to put themselves in this position for Saturday, with three hard fought victories on the road,”said Howley.

“Gethin comes back in and will captain the side and his leadership will be invaluable.

“Saturday is a big finale for the tournament but we have a very experienced squad, who have been in this position before, that have played in big games and that will be important come kick-off.”

Bath prop Paul James takes his place amongst the replacements and the only other change sees Aaron Shingler come in to replace Tipuric.

WALES: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North, Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins (Capt), Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Toby Faletau

REPLACEMENTS:Ken Owens, Paul James, Scott Andrews, Andrew Coombs, Aaron Shingler, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Scott Williams